Norway Prepares For Biggest Storm In 30 Years

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway's central Atlantic coast battened down Wednesday as authorities warned that the country could see its most powerful storm in three decades and urged people to stay indoors.

Hurricane-force winds were expected to hit the region, as air traffic companies and ferry lines predicted disruptions. Police warned that gusts of 126 to 180 kilometers per hour (78 to 112 miles per hour) were expected.

By midday Wednesday, there were scattered reports of ferry lines linking Norwegians islands suspending their services, and the closing of schools, roads, tunnels and bridges across the mountainous country.

Named “Ingunn” by Norwegian meteorologists, the storm was expected to land in central Norway around midday Wednesday before moving north Thursday.

The storm is expected to hit the same area as the 1992 New Year’s hurricane, one of the strongest storms in Norway's history, the newspaper VG wrote.

Authorities issued a red warning, the highest level, for the area around the city of Trondheim, where strong winds were expected Wednesday. Another red warning also was issued for the Lofoten islands, up north along the coast in the Arctic.

”Red hazard warnings are rare and must be taken with the utmost seriousness,” said Nils Karbø of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

“It is important to secure loose objects and assess whether work taking place outdoors can be changed or postponed,” said Gunn Robstad Andersen of the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority. She added that employers should encourage people to work from home and avoid unnecessary travel.”

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre planned to return to Oslo Wednesday, the Norwegian news agency NTB wrote.

No flights were canceled as of Wednesday morning, but spokeswoman Catharina Solli of the domestic airline Wideroe said that they ”take it airport by airport as we go along," NTB wrote.

Police asked people to avoid going outside if possible, and to watch for flying objects when doing so.