Siglufjörður Resident Loses Home to Severe Storm

Siglufjörður

A severe storm hit the town of Siglufjörður in North Iceland on Monday night, leading to the complete destruction of one residence. RÚV spoke to the homeowner yesterday, whose three cats remain missing.

“Future plans” blown away

A severe storm swept through the town of Siglufjörður in North Iceland on Monday night, prompting local authorities to issue an orange weather alert.

In the early morning of Tuesday, September 19, it was confirmed that a residence had been completely demolished by the storm. RÚV interviewed homeowner Hilmar Daníel Valgeirsson yesterday, who admitted that the inclement weather had taken the community by surprise.

Hilmar, an eight-year resident of Siglufjörður with an American upbringing, stated that while he was familiar with weather-related damage from his time in Florida, he had not anticipated such an event in Iceland. He had been intermittently at home that evening and was alerted by concerned neighbours about unusual noises emanating from his property.

“A neighbour reported loud, unsettling noises. Upon inspection, I realised that my home’s roof had been severely damaged,” Hilmar recounted. He is currently residing with his father and noted that local residents have extended offers of assistance. His three cats, however, remain missing.

“All of my future plans have simply been blown away,” Hilmar lamented.

“A dangerous storm”

As noted by RÚV, Strákar (the local rescue team in Siglufjörður), in coordination with local police and fire departments, was actively engaged in emergency response efforts. Debris, including roof tiles and wooden planks, was scattered throughout the town, posing a significant risk, though no injuries have been reported.

Magnús Magnússon, Chair of the Strákar rescue team, emphasised the danger that the storm had posed to the area, particularly near the docks. “We took measures to restrict vehicular access to mitigate risks,” he said, adding that while northeastern winds are common in Siglufjörður, the severity of this storm warranted regional warnings.

Decision to be made on Seyðisfjörður evacuations

Hjördís Guðmundsdóttir, Communications Director for the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, informed RÚV that assessments are underway to determine ongoing landslide risks in Seyðisfjörður. The MET Office is currently evaluating conditions, and several homes in Seyðisfjörður remain evacuated. Hjördís anticipates a decision on the status of the evacuations will be made by midday.

Successful Response to Extreme Weather

None were injured in the winter storm that hit Iceland yesterday, and response efforts went smoothly, representatives of the Icelandic Association for Search, Rescue, and Injury Prevention (ICE-SAR) and the Civil Protection and Emergency Management Department told Vísir. Efforts mostly consisted of assisting travellers who had gotten stuck in the snow. The weather has calmed across the country today and is expected to be calmer in the coming days, though with heavy precipitation.

Cars stuck in snow

Travellers required assistance in various regions, including the capital area, West Iceland, Southeast Iceland, and East Iceland. More than 10 cars got stuck in the Grafarholt neighbourhood of Reykjavík around 10:00 PM last night. Only one response centre for travellers was opened, in Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Southeast Iceland, and 34 travellers sought shelter there.

Hjördís Guðmundsdóttir, the Civil Protection Department’s Communications Officer, believes that the weather warnings released over the past two days served to prevent serious accidents. “We believe that people just decided to stand with us in all of this,” she stated.