Storm Dagmar leaves 'chaos' in its wake
Published: 26 Dec 2011 13:41 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Dec 2011 13:41 GMT+01:00
With the day after Christmas being one of the biggest travel days in Sweden, with holiday makers going home after spending time with family, many will be in for a nasty surprise as their trains are cancelled and roads are blocked in the wake of storm Dagmar.
- Warnings issued as new winter storm approaches (25 Dec 11)
"This is a day many are planning to go home, But my advice is to postpone their journey as long as possible," said Peter Behrman, press information officer at the Swedish Transport Authority (Trafikverket) to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).
Although the storm has moved on, "chaos" is reportedly left in its wake, with rail traffic at a standstill, hundreds of thousands of households without power and fallen trees blocking many roads.
In some areas of Jämtland county, in central Sweden, Dagmar reached hurricane strength, leaving thousands of households without electricity.
Trees had fallen on several houses in Örebro and over many of the region's roads, blocking traffic. One man was taken to hospital after a fallen tree had crushed his camper van.
The Transport Authority had cancelled all trains in Northern Sweden already at 8 pm on Christmas day. The decision affected counties Jämtland, Gävleborg and Västernorrland.
“We are afraid trains will get stuck due to fallen power lines or similar,” explained Behrman at the time.
Approximately ten already departed trains were not able to reach their destinations due to the decision. A night train from Malmö bound for Åre was forced to stop for a long break in Gävle.
“About 400 passengers were offered to overnight on board,” Hasse Höwitz, the train operator's press contact, told TT.
The national rail service, SJ, also offered their travelers the ability to stay overnight on board the night train which was also forced to a stand still.
On tracks at destinations such as Åre, Luleå, Gothenburg and Stockholm, trains stood ready to go on Monday, awaiting the green light from the Swedish Transport Administration.
By early afternoon some north-bound trains were starting to roll again, but many departures were still left waiting to leave.
According to SJ's website, travelers affected can rebook their tickets or get their money back.
The rail service advice is to keep looking on their website for the most recent updates about departures.
"And if you have an already booked ticket, you'll receive a text message with information," Magnus Andersson of the SJ press service told TT.
The stop in rail traffic has left many stranded and trying to find alternative routes home, putting pressure on long distance coach operators.
"People are standing everywhere wanting to get on the coaches. We are driving a much as we can manage," said traffic head for coach company Y-buss, Peter Westh, to TT.
By Monday afternoon, power companies could still not give any guarantees about when the over 154,000 households across Sweden currently without electricity would get their power back.