Storm sweeps southern Norway

A severe storm forced at least one offshore oil platform to shut down in Norway on Friday.

The storm also caused a large number of problems on land. Heavy snow falls made mountain passes impassable and fierce winds and persistent rain interrupted regular ferry services and brought flooding to several communities along the coast.

Despite the severity of the storm, there were no injuries reported and no serious damages as a result.

According to data from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, winds hit 55 miles per hour and sea levels rose to 30 inches above normal. The rising tides were at the highest recorded level since 1993.

In the face of the storm, StatoilHydro ASA, a state-run company, decided to close operations in the Oseberg South oil field rather than face waves that towered to 45 feet high. According to the company, approximately 200 crew members were evacuated from the 54,000 barrel per day operation as a precautionary measure.

Highway officials in Norway confirmed that most mountain passes in the south have been partially or entirely closed due to the extreme weather conditions.