|Damage mounts as fears rise of more flooding|
| [30.08.2007, 11:43pm, Thu. GMT]|
|Damage claims from weekend flooding in southern Oppland County were expected to amount to tens of millions of kroner. Evacuation orders remained in place Tuesday morning, and more rain was on the way. It was unclear when around 30 residents of the county's Søndre and Nordre Land districts would be allowed to return to their homes. Geologists were testing whether saturated grounds were stable enough to ensure residents' safety, while some access roads were washed out. The residents forced from their homes Sunday and Monday had hoped to return Monday evening. "During the day on Tuesday, we'll come with a new evaluation of the situation for the 27 still evacuated," said Tom Midthaug of the Vestoppland Police District.Clear skies and sunshine on Monday allowed officials to assess the damage done by flooding from pouring rain and a broken dam. In addition to the homes that were damaged, they found several holiday cabins destroyed by landslides and the torrents of water that swept through the area.|
Officials blame the unusually heavy rain that pounded the area all day Saturday and most of Sunday, especially the area around Odnes at the northern end of the Randsfjord. A local mayor said on national television Monday evening that he hadn't seen such rain since 1959, but was grateful no one was injured.
Insurance companies were reassuring property owners Tuesday that claims would be covered under catastrophic clauses in their contracts. Government aid was also to be made available, and Justice Minister Knut Storberget toured the area on Monday.
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