Weekend storms ‘not as bad as feared’

Nearly 5,000 households in southern Sweden were without power on Sunday morning after storms swept across the country. But meteorologists say Saturday's storms were not as bad as they had feared and power was rapidly being restored.

Tens of thousands of households in Småland and Västra Götaland counties lost power after the storm blew down electricity cables. By Sunday morning, that figure was down to about 5,000, according to electricity providers Fortum, Vattenfall and Eon. That number is far below the number affected by previous storms in recent years.

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute, which gave the names Gudrun and Per to previous storms to affect Sweden, did not consider Saturday’s poor weather significant enough for a name.

A downed cable at a railway junction near Vänersborg, Västra Götaland, meant that trains could not pass and passengers were forced to take buses for a short stretch. The Uddevallabron, a bridge carrying the E6 motorway at Uddevalla, was closed for seven hours.

Heavy winds battered Stockholm on Saturday night, causing minor damage in parts of the city. Scaffolding on a building in Östermalmstorg, central Stockholm, collapsed and blocked an exit from a metro station. Nobody was hurt.

A number of cars were damaged when a temporary toilet blew off the roof of a building site office on Bastugatan in central Stockholm.

“It was a portaloo that fell down and damaged two cars,” said Ann-Charlotte Wejnäs, spokeswoman for Stockholm Police.

Early in the morning, the winds were still buffeting parts of Gotland and the coast of Uppland county, north of Stockholm. The Swedish Forest Agency predicted major losses for forest owners in parts of south-central Sweden, particularly in Götaland.