CRAPPY CLOSURE: Bank closes due to sewage leak forcing teardown of walls; ATM and post office remain open (UPDATE: Temporary office now next to 78 Degrees Tax Free shop)


Update 2 p.m. Wednesday: The bank is operating temporarily in the Longyearbyen Arbeiderforening office adjacent to the 78 Degrees Tax Free shop across from the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel.

Original story: A sewage leak forced the closure of the Sparebank1 branch in Longyearbyen on Tuesday after the smell from the seepage into a couple of rooms became too fowl to continue operations, according to the bank’s manager. The ATM in the hallways outside the bank, the post office and the tax office in the same building all remain open.

“It not flooding, but there is a terrible smell from it,” Trond Hellstad told Svalbardposten. “Pure water would have been bad enough, but then it wouldn’t have smelled so cruel.”

Workers are tearing down walls to locate the source of the leakage and the bank could be closed multiple days as a result, Hellstad said. Bank officials are considering operating in a temporary alternate location if that is the case and plan to provide further information about the closure during the day.