STORMY OUTLOOK: Home at Sverdrupbyen evacuated, Vei 300 closed between Huset and Museumsveien closed due to avalanche risk

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One residence at Sverdrupbyen was evacuated and the road between Huset and Museumsveien closed to all traffic Tuesday afternoon due to avalanche concerns, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

The evacuation and closure along the mountainside on the west side of Longyearbyen, announced at about 4 p.m., comes nearly two weeks after two dozen residences along the mountains on the east side of town were evacuated – some for the rest of the winter – due to the same concerns.

“The evacuation of the house at Sverdrupbyen is based on the weather forecasts and the snow condition assessment from (The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate),” Gov. Kjerstin Askholt said in a prepared statement. “The weather conditions indicate that in this situation we focus on the settlement along the western side of the valley. We are carefully following the weather situation.”

A moderate amount of snow was added to the existing snowpack Tuesday in Longyearbyen, and the forecast from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute calls for temperatures ranging from a few degrees zero to a few degrees above, occasionally strong winds, and potentially heavy snow and (more likely) rain at times through Sunday.

A Level Three risk level (“considerable”) is forecast Wednesday and Thursday for Longyearbyen, according to the NVE.

“Conditions are dangerous,” an alert at the agency’s website notes. Be careful in lee areas with wind deposited snow, typically behind ridges, ribs and in gullies. Be aware of a persistent weak layer buried by windslabs.”

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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