Storm knocks out rail service

A storm that hit large parts of the country overnight and continued on Wednesday morning has left 57,000 households without electricity.

Rail and air traffic have also been severely affected. In Värmland in western Sweden rail traffic has come to a complete standstill.

In western Sweden the two leading electricity companies waited until first light to begin repairing cables damaged in the storm.

With winds expected to reach a force of 90km/hour, meteorological agency SMHI had issued an overnight Class 2 warning for large parts of Svealand and southern Norrland.

Wind speeds of 104km/hour were recorded during the night in Örebro in central Sweden, before reaching 130km/h in Sylarna in the northern region of Jämtland.

Class 2 is the second highest warning level, entailing danger for the general public and major disruptions to public services.

Staff at Swedish Rail in central Sweden were working to resolve the situation early this morning but at 7 a.m. there were still no indications as to when rail traffic could resume normal service.

“They are out looking now. Trains between Gävle and Ljusdal are expected to start rolling again at around 1 p.m., but we have no times yet for the remaining routes,” said Swedish Rail spokesman Tommy Dahlgren.

In Värmland rail traffic came to a halt as a result of trees falling onto the tracks.

“Hardly anything has been spared. A lot of minor tracks have been hit and we are effectively at a standstill in all of Värmland,” said Swedish rail spokesman Arne Öberg

Police in Svealand and southern Norrland reported a large number of fallen trees and roof tiles.

A motorist collided with an oncoming car outside Örebro when he swerved to avoid a tree on the road. The man was taken to hospital for treatment. None of the five people travelling in the other car were hurt.