Denmark takes flood precautions as water levels rise

Increasing water levels on sections of the Danish coast have prompted authorities to make provisions for potential flooding.

Denmark takes flood precautions as water levels rise
Beredskab Fyn (Funen Fire Service) setting up flood barriers on January 1st this year. Photo: Robert Wengler/Ritzau Scanpix

The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) has warned that flooding is likely and measures are being taken to protect sections of the coast on Funen, the country’s second-largest island.

Funen’s fire service Beredskab Fyn has made sandbags available for residents on the north coast of the island, emergency service director Mogens Bjerregaard said.

“Additionally, we have – particularly in relation to Odense – strengthened a dyke in a specific location to protect a health centre from the high water,” Bjerregaard said.

The fire service is also preparing to pump water from the moat in Nyborg on Tuesday evening.

“We have been given assistance in setting this in motion,” Bjerregaard said.

The new alerts of high water levels follow a number of instances of flooding in southern parts of Denmark last week.

On its website, DMI states that water levels are expected to reach between 125 and 140 centimetres above normal in the southwestern Kattegat sea, the Great Belt strait and in the north of the island of Lolland.

High tides are expected to be reached between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. Flood warnings are normally issued when water reaches 125 centimetres above normal levels.

Odense’s fjord is expected to see as much as 150cm above normal levels, while Zealand’s Isefjord and Roskilde Fjord waterways may see a rise of up to 120cm.

But DMI’s duty manager Klaus Larsen said the situation is not expected to be as critical as that seen last week.

“That is for two primary reasons. We have had strong winds for a shorter amount of time; and the wind pressure on the Baltic Sea is reduced in relation to the Kattegat,” Larsen said.

“So there are two water masses meeting in the southern part of the country, and there probably won’t be quite as much water from the Baltic Sea,” he added.

The Wadden Sea, to the south-west of Denmark, was expected by DMI to reach 220cm above normal levels at Tuesday afternoon’s high tide.

But that is not enough to result in flood warnings in this part of the country, where an increase of 240cm is required for such an alert, Larsen said.

But changes on the path of the low-pressure front currently moving across Denmark could yet affect the levels reached by waters, DMI notes.

READ ALSO: Weather reports from Denmark


How much will it snow in Denmark this weekend?

Winter weather arrived in spectacular fashion to coincide with the beginning of December this week. The weekend could bring more snow to parts of the country but probably less disruption than recent days.

Parts of Denmark have seen heavy snow in early December.
Parts of Denmark have seen heavy snow in early December. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Recent snowstorms disrupted North Jutland in particular and Denmark in general, and more cold weather can be expected this weekend albeit severe, according to forecasts.

“We won’t see the Ragnarok-like weather we’ve seen in some places recently again this weekend, but it’s now winter weather and it has also snowed in several places overnight,” said meteorologist Frank Nielsen of the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI).

READ ALSO: IN PICTURES: Early December blizzards disrupt Denmark

Cold weather on Friday and a low front across the North Sea will bring clouds and precipitation across Denmark from the west, Nielsen said.

That will materialise as cold rain or sleet in many areas but probably snow in North Jutland, he said.

“There could be between five and ten centimetres of snow north of the Limfjord,” the meteorologist said, referring to the waterway that cuts across the northern part of Jutland, including main regional city Aalborg.

“In the southern part of the country, an equivalent five to ten centimetres of rain could fall,” he added.

Friday’s temperature will be between freezing point and five degrees Celsius, with the north of the country falling in to the lower end of that range and the south the warmer end.

Mist and fog is forecast this evening, caused by various weather fronts moving over Denmark.

That could still be felt on Saturday morning, though it is likely to be a little warmer at 2-6 degrees Celsius. Mild winds could make that fell chiller, but snow is unlikely.

Sunday will see the temperature drop again, to 0-4 degrees Celsisu. Snow is possible, particularly on eastern coasts.

Strong winds in the east of the country and along the coasts will result in a “rather cold 24 hours,” Nielsen said.

Nighttime temperatures are expected to drop below zero throughout the weekend. Motorists are therefore warned to be alert to icy road surfaces.