heloscout

STORM UPDATE: Mayor says snow in mountains a concern since rain and heat tonight may trigger avalanches

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Officials inspecting the mountains of Longyearbyen by helicopter at midday Tuesday are assessing the risk of avalanches as well as the potential landslide threat that may exist during the rain and warm temperatures forecast for tonight, according to Mayor Arild Olsen.Olsen, speaking just before going into a 1 p.m. meeting of the local emergency council to determine if evacuation orders affected 140 people should be modified, said it’s safer to err on the side of caution if there’s doubt since the residences in question are already empty – a vastly preferable option to letting people go home and then forcing them out again.

He said displaced residents who stayed in city-provided emergency housing Monday night should be able to remain there tonight if necessary. For people needing clothes, cookware and other essentials, the free Bruktikken second-hand store is scheduled to be open from 4 to 7 p.m. today

About 4.5 millimeters of precipitation is forecast between 6 p.m. and noon Wednesday, a rate far below what would traditionally trigger landslides. But Olsen noted temperatures, which were at zero degrees Celsuis at noon Tuesday, are expected to rise to five degrees tonight.

“We don’t know how much snow is in the mountains,” he said, noting a thaw and rain would result in a high-risk of releasing those loads.

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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