Iceland Mag

8 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Nature

Video: Storm turns Ring Road on glacial outwash plains in SE. Iceland into a glacial lagoon

By Staff

  • A road or a glacial lagoon? The Ring Road in SE Iceland was submerged by Wednesday's storm. Photo/Screenshot from video, see below

Wednesday's storm did not only turn the streets and parking lots of Reykjavík into rivers and lakes: Parts of the Ring Road were also submerged. The torrential rain and snowmelt caused rivers in South-East Iceland to swell.

Read more: Photos, videos: Storm turns Reykjavík streets, parking lots into lakes and rivers

Most of the Ring Road withstood the flooding. A part of the Ring Road in Álftafjörður fjord in East Iceland was washed away by the floods, causing the road to be closed yesterday while IRCA road crews repaired the damage.

A tiny glacial lagoon on the Ring Road
A local bus driver, Guðmundur Baldursson, shot this video of the conditions on the Ring Road just west of Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon during Wednesday's storm. Big parts of the road were submerged and covered with small ice floats, forcing any cars trying to make their way to navigate the floating ice. 

Guðmundur told the local newspaper Morgunblaðið that he was carrying 47 US travellers from the town of Vík to the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. The intense rain and melting of snow and ice in the south and south west created rivers and lakes where there should only have been road or black sand, as well as causing the countless rivers that snake along the glacial outwash plains to flood the road. Ice and snow carried by the melting water then turned the road into an obstacle course. 

You can hear amazement and excitement of the travellers on the bus. It is pretty exciting to drive through a tiny little glacial lagoon! 

Being an experienced driver, and driving a bus, Guðmundur had not trouble making it across the road/lagoon. Inexperienced drivers on regular compact cars were looking at a somewhat more challenging task! Fortunately everyone made it through, and no serious accidents were reported in the area yesterday.

The local newspaper Morgunblaðið published a second video showing how other drivers on the road tried to deal with the ice. Guðmundur told Morgunblaðið that the driver of the car in front of him had stopped in the middle of the road, causing a major traffic jam. 

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