Tag Archives: evacuation

Termination dust: Return of snow means evacuation of at-risk homes, heightened avalanche monitoring in near-term future

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People allowed back into dozens of avalanche-zone homes “until the snow returns” don’t have to vacate them for the winter quite yet even though the first visible snow fell on Longyearbyen this weekend, according to Svalbard Gov. Kjerstin Askholt.

“It is not literally the first snow,” she said during a break in a community meeting last Wednesday to discuss landslide and avalanche preparations for the coming winter. “It will be when there’s enough snow for us to evaluate if there is a threat.”

Shelter until the snow flies: Governor lifts evacuation order for homes evacuated after avalanche – but only temporarily

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Nearly 60 residences evacuated after an avalanche destroyed two nearby apartment buildings in February can be used as temporary housing until “the ground is covered by snow” unless protective measures are implemented, The Governor of Svalbard announced Tuesday evening.

Beds of summer? Evacuation of homes after avalanche may be lifted to accommodate extra seasonal workers

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An evacuation of dozens of homes in effect since an avalanche hit two nearby apartment buildings Feb. 21 may be lifted soon – although perhaps not as soon or predictably as city and private employers hope.

Snow barrier: Evacuation of homes in avalanche area upheld until summer; access to retrieve items cut back to once a week

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For the past month people have generally been allowed into their evacuated homes for a few hours a day to collect belongings except for a few rare days when storms heightened the avalanche threat. Those days are over at least until the snow is gone.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: Evacuees allowed into homes from 3-6 p.m. Friday, noon-3 p.m. Saturday; more chances to come

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People living in residents still evacuated after Tuesday’s avalanche will be allowed into their homes to retrieve belongings from 3-6 p.m. Friday and noon-3 p.m. Saturday, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

There will be more chances to enter residences at times to be announced. The long-term forecast for Longyearbyen calls for temperatures well below zero degrees Celsius and no precipitation through next Saturday.

Rant: You may want to go home – for maybe the last time ever. The Sequel (20 minutes in a freezing hell with little left to lose)

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This time, almost exactly a year to the day later, there was no forewarning it might happen. Instead of two hours, I had 20 minutes. There was no calvary bringing vehicles – indeed, there were no cars at all because I had no idea where mine was.

And it wasn’t a pivotal moment on a worldwide reality TV show – or even covered by the local media. Good thing, because as the picture indicates, I look a whole lot worse for wear this year.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: Evacuees allowed to collect belongings from 3-6 p.m. Thursday as city grapples with housing solution

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Residents of 55 evacuated apartments and houses who suddenly found themselves homeless for the long-term Wednesday night will be allowed back into their homes between 3 and 6 p.m. to retrieve belongings, according to The Governor of Svalbard. There will also be additional opportunities at a time to be determined.

The question for many is where they’ll be moving those belongings to.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: Governor recommends 13 residential buildings near hillside be abandoned long-term or permanently

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The long-term or permanent evacuation of 13 residential buildings closest to the mountain where two devastating avalanches have occurred in the past 14 months was recommended Wednesday by The Governor of Svalbard. The decision is for practical purposes effective immediately since the buildings were already evacuated after a landslide in the area Tuesday.

STORM UPDATE: Governor orders evacuation of Nybyen; will evaluate situation in other areas at 2 p.m. Wednesday

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An order requiring people in Nybyen to evacuate their buildings due to an approaching snowstorm was issued just before noon Wednesday by The Governor of Svalbard. Residents in Lia beneath Sukkertoppen, where an avalanche struck last Dec. 19 after a similar storm of greater intensity, are being allowed to remain pending a further assessment of the situation at 2 p.m.

“According to NVE’s ratings Wednesday morning, there is a possibility of smaller avalanches in Longyearbyen, but not so that they will jeopardize settlements,” a statement issued by the governor’s office notes. “Nybyen will be most at risk and is therefore ordered evacuated. The road to Nybyen will be closed from school. The road to Huset on the west side of Longyeardalen will remain open.”

STORM ALERT: Evacuations lifted for all areas except apartments at Vei 232 and the dog kennels

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An evacuation order affecting 259 people has been lifted for nearly all areas as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

The order remains in place for residences 522 to 544 on Vei 232 and for the dog kennels just outside of Longyearbyen, with a new assessment of those areas scheduled Thursday. The order has been lifted for those living or staying in Nybyen, the vicinity of Svalbard Church and apartment complexes along Vei 222.