Thousands lack power after heavy snow

Thousands lack power after heavy snow
After heavy snowfalls across Sweden on Friday thousands of people were left without electricity on Saturday morning. Icy road conditions were forecast for Saturday in Stockholm and northern areas.

Falls of heavy, wet snow caused havoc to electricity networks mainly in northern Sweden and Gävleborg on Friday night. Thick ice and snow weighed down power cables and caused supplies to be cut in rural areas.

Electricity supplier Eon confirmed on Saturday morning that 3,000 of its customers in the northern province of Västernorrland had been affected and a further 400 in Jämtland and 300 in Gävleborg. Fortum reported that 1,100 of its customers, mainly in Gävleborg, were left without power on Saturday.

Vattenfall reported that 7,000 of its customers were without electricity in Norrbotten, Västerbotten and Västernorrland. The company had issued a warning on its home page advising people to keep clear of fallen power lines.

The companies could not confirm on Saturday morning when power would return to the affected customers.

Vattenfall press spokesperson Henrik Berglind-Dehlin confirmed that there is no time scale for the problem to be solved but that the firm has 30-40 staff working on the repairing the lines.

The Swedish meteorological agency, SMHI, forecast that the heavy, wet snow would have mostly blown away by Saturday afternoon but would remain in some northern areas.

The agency issued a warning to motorists for icy road conditions in the Stockholm area and large areas of central Sweden on Saturday morning. Roads in northern areas are expected to remain treacherous into Saturday afternoon.