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Massive Destruction at First Camp Gol: Assessing the Aftermath of Storm ‘Hans’

– It is completely absurd! It is not possible to deal with this. But it says something about the powers that be, it has cleared everything up!

It is a sad sight that meets Vebjørn Hagen, regional manager of First Camp at Gol.

The storm “Hans” has left what was once an idyllic campsite in ruins. The river became strikingly colossal in growth, overflowing its banks and destroying everything in its path.

Caravans were smashed. House moved. The new sanitary facility with swimming pool and slides has been leveled to the ground.

The masses of water have hammered away and washed away. Behind are large stones and heaps of iron scrap.

Natural disasters are a fact.

Vebjørn Hagen can hardly fathom the extent of the destruction.

Photo: Frida Synnøve Høyås / NRK

The sight of the destruction makes Hagen wet in the eyes.

– It’s really unimaginable that that can happen. When you experience such floods that no one thought could happen, yes, you are completely overwhelmed. When a large building is simply moved on…

Never seen such great destruction after a flood before

Even seasoned surveyors have not seen the likes of destruction.

Kenneth Thorsen, building technical consultant at Gjensidige, has traveled from Ål to Gol to look at damages to be assessed.

Kenneth Thorsen assesses the damage after the flood.

Photo: Frida Synnøve Høyås / NRK

We meet him together with Vebjørn Hagen. Thorsen will settle the status at First Camp.

– The extent of the damage is enormous. There is no doubt about that. I have seen a lot in the past, but never of this dimension here, he notes.

He says that the damage he has seen in the areas varies greatly. From water in cellars to “yard and road gone”.

– And to total damages. Where there is no more. Of course it affects one, says Thorsen.

Chaos after the extreme weather at Gol camping center.

It was once a bathing facility.

Photo: Frida Synnøve Høyås / NRK

“Hans” has shown muscles and exerted enormous strength.

While the appraiser documents and snaps pictures, Hagen goes and sacrifices himself.

– A little further up, the river broke over and got a new path down here. It disappeared straight through the bathing facility we have here. Everything was filled with pulp, all buildings were affected – and everything is completely damaged, says a dejected camping manager.

– No one knew exactly how this was going to turn out, sighs caretaker at First Camp Gol, Jan Idar Etterlid.

Jan Idar Etterlid is caretaker at the campsite. He has more than enough to hang his fingers on.

Photo: Frida Synnøve Høyås / NRK

He wanders around the ruins. Picks up debris and quickly.

– We thought we were going to keep it away with pumps and stuff, we bought a damn big pump. But it didn’t help. We thought it would be a normal flood, he says, almost consoling himself.

– It’s just a matter of moving around. Spit in your fist and move on.

Sending hundreds of surveyors to flood-affected areas

Until now, the insurance companies have received around 7,000 claims for damage to buildings and contents.

The value is a staggering NOK 1.6 billion. The number may be higher.

Now the entire insurance industry is working to register the damages.

Daniel Helgesen is CEO of Norsk Takst. He confirms that assessment engineers will be sent in large numbers to Eastern Norway in the coming weeks to assess damage and extent according to “Hans”.

– After dialogue with the claims committee of Finans Norge and the Norwegian Nature Damage Pool, we have contributed to obtaining preparedness from our membership across the country. We have ensured that our member companies and rate engineers come from the far north, south and west of the country to contribute their capacity.

CEO of Norsk takst, Daniel Helgesen

Photo: Norwegian tariff

Helgesen says that in their membership they have close to 700 appraisal engineers who have the competence to carry out damage appraisals.

He does not know exactly how many are sent to Eastern Norway.

– But that there are plus/minus 400 people who participate in this, I think we can say that.

– How long will the assessment work take?

– Everything from days in the simplest cases, to months and – in the worst cases – years for the most serious.

He adds that this is a very large incident that will take a long time for both the assessment and insurance industry to be completely finished with.

– However, my member companies are now contributing everything they can to assess the damage as quickly and correctly as possible, so that those affected will get the help they need, concludes Helgesen.

2023-08-18 14:19:09

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