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8/14/2007

New flooding forces more evacuations

Norway
Photo: Floods ripped through Odnes at the northern tip of the Randsfjord.

Rain that pounded much of southern Norway over the weekend caused new flooding that forced more people out of their homes on Monday. The relentless rains hit southern Oppland County especially hard, and residents in and around the town of Dokka suffered. Several homes have been destroyed or severely damaged, and cars swept away, not least after a dam broke at the lake known as Store Kaldingen. That sent torrents of water rushing down the Nordraak River (Nordraakselva), which in turn unleashed rocks and earth along the way. Landslides followed, and the region around the northern end of the otherwise scenic Randsfjord was declared a disaster area. By Monday morning, mud and rocks ended up plugging the Nordraak River and setting off more flooding as water built up behind it. County officials were considering whether to blast through the masses of dirt and rocks to unblock the river. Scores of local residents remained under evacuation order and it was unclear when they'd be allowed to return to their homes. More bad weather is expected Wednesday. Southern Norway has been suffering through its WETTEST SUMMER ON RECORD.
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