Warm temperatures and thawing snow are causing rivers to flood their banks in North Iceland. Two landslides have caused property damage in the region and police have encouraged residents to avoid driving on the Ring Road unless necessary. Warm weather and increased runoff are expected in North and East Iceland in the coming days.
One landslide damaged two houses in Varmahlíð, Northwest Iceland last Sunday while another the same evening felled a power line at the nearby Tindastóll ski area. Further east, the rivers Fnjóská and Hörgá are both flowing over their banks. At a campsite located by Fnjóská, guests had to flee the rising water, where the flow has increased six times over in less than a week.
Northeast Iceland Police warned residents to avoid travel along the Ring Road last night, saying there was a possibility that flooding rivers could damage or destroy bridges. Akureyri residents were encouraged to avoid walking along Glerá river and exercise caution near rivers and other bodies of water.
The Icelandic Met Office forecasts ongoing warm weather in both North and East Iceland and increased snow melt in the regions. “Increased runoff will result in a rise in water levels in rivers and streams, especially where there are high temperatures and snow in the mountains,” the Met Office website states.