Flooding Strikes Siglufjörður - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Flooding Strikes Siglufjörður

Published August 30, 2015

Photos by
Jakob Gleby/Wikimedia Commons

Heavy and persistent rains have led to an emergency situation as the north Iceland town of Siglurfjörður deals with torrential flooding.

Local firefighter chief Ámundi Gunnarsson told RÚV that the situation has reached natural disaster levels, while town project manager Birgir Ingimarsson estimates the damage already done is in the tens of millions.

An unusually heavy and unrelenting rainfall in the north of Iceland has caused substantial flooding in the town. Streets were washed out by both water and landslides, and many basements were flooded. Residents who have lived in the town for decades reported that they had never seen flooding of this magnitude.

Rains decreased enough yesterday for clean-up crews to begin working, but the problem is far from solved. Birgir told reporters that the town’s drainage system is in need of a complete overhaul in order to prevent disasters like this from happening again.

Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson told reporters that his government intends to look into whether it will be possible to pay for damages that fall outside what catastrophe insurance would normally cover.

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