Rough Weather Knocks Out Power In North Iceland

11.9.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
Yesterday's unseasonably cold and windy weather at one point shut down electricity across northern Iceland for hours.

While Iceland is known for its unpredictable weather, yesterday's low temperatures and high winds - at around 24 m/s in the capital area alone - still caught many off guard. As those in Reykjavík braced themselves, conditions were far worse up north.

Vísir reports that high winds and ice knocked down main power lines in the north, with the result that electricity vanished from north Iceland, from Blönduós to Akureyri. Surrounding towns and villages - such as Kopasker, which depends on Akureyri's power for their own electricity - were also rendered without power. Rescue workers responded quickly, though, and power was restored within three and a half hours.

Farmers scrambled to bring their sheep indoors from the weather, RÚV reports. Pétur Vopni Sigurðsson, an employee of the electric company RARIK who was among those braving high winds and snow in order to fix downed power lines, told reporters that this was the worst damage he had seen in 17 years.

The high winds are expected to continue today, albeit with some tapering off as the day progresses.

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