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Skåne floods cause chaos

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13:24 CEST+02:00
Parts of southern Sweden were hit by serious floods on Wednesday morning after heavy rain overnight, causing damage to houses and stopping trains in the region.

Trelleborg, 34 kilometres south of Malmö, was worst hit, while Kristianstad also suffered flooding.

"The whole of Trelleborg has been full of water, with flooded garages and cellars," said Thomas Kjellberg, coordinating the emergency services' relief effort.

The torrential downpours led all the drains in the town to overflow. The emergency services reported that 50 millimetres (two inches) of rain fell in one and a half hours, soon after midnight. In some garages and cellars the water was two metres deep.

An garage belonging to an apartment block, containing 15 cars and several motorcycles was flooded during the morning.

"We are pumping out 600-700 cubic metres of water. That's a lot," said emergency service spokesman Anders Ljungdahl at 9:30 am.

"The cars are standing in water up to their doors," he said.

He added that with rain continuing during the day, the situation could get worse before it gets better.

"It's raining heavily now, and that means that means our water tanks get full. If the rain continues for the whole morning we might have to go on more call-outs."

People elsewhere in Skåne were hit by power cuts. Electricity company Eon said 14,700 of its customers were without electricity at 10 am. Hässleholm was worst-hit, with 12,000 people there cut off.

"A transformer station in Hässleholm has been knocked out by the storm. It's a serious problem, but we don't know how serious as we haven't arrived at the scene yet," said Johan Aspegren, spokesman for Eon.

The hit on the transformer station also caused problems for trains in the area during the morning. A spokeswoman for track maintenance authority Banverket said that traffic was moving again by mid-morning, but that services could be unreliable due to intermittent power supply.

A house was struck by lightning in Vä, near Kristianstad, at around 8:30 am. The house did not catch fire, and nobody was hurt.

The centre of the storm was over Kristianstad and Åhus during the morning. Emergency services reported that they were dealing with around 70 reports of flooding at 11 am.

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