Gothenburg floods ‘critical’

Flooding continued to threaten the Gothenburg area on Wednesday, with further rain leading emergency services to describe the situation in and around the city as 'critical'.

Rainfall on Tuesday night added to the woes of residents in the flooded areas of Partille, Kungsbacka and Mölndal. The level of the river in Mölndal has decreased somewhat since Tuesday, but the overall situation is not improved, rescuers say.

“This is very serious. We have not seen anything like this before. We are on our toes and preparing ourselves because it could get even worse. There is not so much we can do at the moment. We are pumping water in Kungsbacka, along Kungsmässan and in Partille, where we are pumping water out of a shopping centre,” said emergency service spokesmaN Håkan Alexandersson, .

According to Alexandersson, the forecast strong winds and heavy rain will create even more problems. If the water level at the harbour entrance continues to rise, it will be very difficult for water from the rivers to reach the sea. The rescue team working with the neighbouring municipalities to predict how the rain and floods could threaten power supplies and telephone lines.

The area south of Borås towards Viskafors and Kinna is the most vulnerable. Fears are rising that the Viskan river will flood. The water level in the Viskan rose three centimetres since Monday, and the outflow of water from Öresjö lake has been increased. Water from Öresjö is currently being pumped at full capacity.

“We have never seen this much water in Öresjö,” said Lars-Erik Sandin, officer in the rescue team in southern Älvsborg.

If the waters continue to rise, sewage systems will be affected, according to Anders Wilgotson, leading the rescue team in the southern Älvsborg district. The level of the Ätran river fell about three centimetres during the night but the situation is still critical.

Train traffic between Gothenburg and Malmö is still being disrupted by the floods. Buses were ordered to substitute the stretch between Gothenburg and Kungsbacka and only on Friday the trains will be able to run normally.