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Gothenburg pays for 'worst snow in ten years'

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There was so much snow some people skied to work! Photo:Thomas Johansson/TT
15:32 CET+01:00
Western Sweden's largest city is still struggling to deal with one of the biggest dumps of snow in a decade, while a penis drawn on a frozen river in Gothenburg has disappeared amid a fierce debate.
Swedish meteorologists revealed on Wednesday that 33cm of snow had been measured in less than eight hours the previous day at one station run by SMHI, Sweden's national weather agency.
 
While the north of the country is used to being covered in white stuff at this time of year, Gothenburg gets less heavy snow and this week train, bus and tram services have all been affected by the rare weather.
 
"It is unusual, at least in that part of the country," Sandra Andersson, a meteorologist at SMHI, told the TT news agency.
 
"We have not had such heavy snowfall in Gothenburg for about ten years," added Mikael Olsson, Traffic Manager at Västtrafik, the region's transport agency.
 
 
The weather looks set to be costly for the agency, which guarantees customers compensation if they are delayed by more than 20 minutes due to public transport errors.
 
It told the Gothenburg Post (GP) that it usually received around 300 to 400 claims per day, but had already been alerted to 2,600 cases by Tuesday evening and anticipated a total of 4,000 once postal applications were included. This would amount to around 500,000 kronor ($58, 514).
 
Olsson said he felt that the agency had nevertheless prepared well for the heavy snowfall, by swiftly bringing snow removal teams into action to prevent delays being even worse.
 
However he said that his team was considering widespread criticism on social media that not enough information was made available to travellers.
 
"We have to sit down and analyse what happened and what could be done better. The information for customers is a key part of that effort," he told GP.
 
 
Meanwhile Gothenburg's winter weather grabbed global headlines for a completely different reason, after international media picked up on the row over a giant penis drawn in snow covering a frozen moat, reported by The Local earlier this week.
 

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The motif was scrubbed off the ice by council-funded park cleaners on Tuesday, resulting in a Facebook campaign to bring it back. The page had attracted almost 2,000 likes by 4pm on Wednesday.
 
"We will never forget Gothenburg Municipality's betrayal of its citizens, their betrayal of the free art! To spend money destroying popular art in public space is incredible, and it requires action", said one commenter on the site.
 
No further snow is expected in Gothenburg in the next few days although temperatures are set to remain as low as -10C.
 
However this is still positively balmy compared with the far north of the country. It is currently around -30C in Kiruna, the nation's most northerly city.

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