STORM UPDATE: Evacuation of Nybyen lifted, no major damage reported as worst passes

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An evacuation of Nybyen was lifted Thursday afternoon, and no major avalanches or damage were reported following a major snowstorm Wednesday night and Thursday morning, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

But many residents are facing heavy burdens in the aftermath due to massive snowdrifts that buried vehicles and blocked doors, and road crews are still working to clear some roads.

The evacuation that affected 58 people was lifted at 2:42 p.m after an assessment of the mountains in Nybyen and Longyeardalen during the day, Gov. Kjerstin Askholt said in a prepared statement.

“There is new research on snow conditions both during at Sukkertoppen and Nybeyn,” she said. “On the basis of these studies is NVE’s assessment that there is no danger of avalanches will reach the settlements.”

“This shows that the avalanche warning system works as intended.”

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Isak Røddesnes, 3, peers out a window covered with snow Thursday morning. Photo by Tove Jenssen Røddesnes.

Askholt said there were some minor avalanches that did not reach structures, but the risk of further snowslides remains high.“Also, we encourage people who live along the roads in Longyearbyen to use reflectors so that they are clearly visible to those driving snowplows, which still have a big job to do,” she said.Mostly it’s going well, but there have also been some cases where people have been difficult to see.”

But it didn’t take an avalanche for some things to get buried. Tove Jenssen Røddesnes told NRK she can’t see out of her house because all of the windows are covered with snow.”But I’ve peeked out the door” she said. “We have a real shovel job to do to get us out.”

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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