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Sweden hit by wet and wild weather

TT/David Landes · 2 Jul 2009, 11:50

Published: 02 Jul 2009 11:50 GMT+02:00

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The violent weather caught many Swedes off guard following several days of high temperatures and clear skies.

In Skara, in south central Sweden, a 100 square metre section of rooftop came crashing down into a shopping centre after being dislodged by heavy winds.

“The roof fell down to the floor. It came down over an escalator which goes up to the second floor,” said emergency worker Joakim Ramåker to the TT news agency.

“It happened when the store was full of people, but luckily no one was underneath. It was pure chance that no one was headed up the escalator when it happened.”

The roof collapse was one of many problems caused by a line of heavy thunderstorms which rumbled through the area.

“It caused both fires and floods. In the end, we had to block off several areas. It was impossible to drive a car into Skara,” said Ramåker.

Emergency crews also received more than 40 calls about flooded buildings, and thousands of homes were without power.

“It started raining at 1pm, but the downpour came around 2pm. Then it rained like crazy for about an hour. You could barely see out the window,” Skara municipality spokesperson Tina Jörhall told TT.

“I’ve never seen so much rain in Sweden.”

Route 50 north of Ludvika in central Sweden was also closed on Wednesday evening near Håksberg due to flooding.

Emergency crews at first feared that a dam had burst, but after inspecting the structure ruled that the floods had been caused by the heavy rainfall.

The unpredictable weather also made a mockery of rain measurements from Sweden’s meteorological agency, SMHI, in Lund in southern Sweden.

Despite thousands of residents being soaked by isolated downpours, SMHI’s rain gauges registered no rainfall at all on Tuesday afternoon.

“This is an excellent example of how extremely localized thunderstorms can be,” SMHI meteorologist Alexandra Ohlsson told the Sydsvenskan newspaper.

Lightning strikes from a thunderstorm also killed three horses near a pasture south of Växjö in south central Sweden.

The lightning first struck a tree in a wooded area adjacent to the horse pasture, before continuing down into the ground where the animals stood, electrocuting all three.

“I screamed loud enough to be heard in the entire parish when I found them,” owner Chatrin Stensson told the Smålandsposten newspaper.

Story continues below…

“I was so shocked I just stood and stared. My husband Andreas had to drag me away from the pasture because it was still thundering.”

According to SMHI, Wednesday was Sweden’s stormiest day so far this year, with the agency registering more than 20,000 lightning strikes around the country.

The forecast for Thursday includes a chance for continued isolated thunderstorms in Sweden’s far south, with warm temperatures covering much of the country.

On Friday, increasing cloud cover will slide down over much of the country as a cooler air makes its way south.

While temperatures will remain between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius in southern Sweden, temperatures are expected to dip to 20 degrees or lower in much of the rest of the country.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:50 July 2, 2009 by BlackfDes
A timely warning to all the SUV and 4WD owners - be VERY careful when driving into flooded areas or flooded streams as it could leave you stuck or swept away to an untimely death!

Ignoring this warning will only reaffirm the opinion that owning an SUV or 4WD is a complete W%&K!
12:02 July 2, 2009 by Brtahan
This is global warming , effecting other countries . world should stop buying products from countries who doesnt respect the basic enviromental rules. specialy developing countries , like china,india etc
12:36 July 2, 2009 by Hong Kong Phooey
This is not global warming. It is how our planet works and why Sweden is so lush and green and beautiful.


However I agree that we should not buy cheap goods from developing countries unless it is fair trade. It might seem like a bargain because it is cheap, but it is cheap because it is manufactured by an 8 year old who lives like a battery chicken.
12:40 July 2, 2009 by Eye_Witness
Prophecy seems evident about global warming.
21:10 July 2, 2009 by netrider
Comment: Brtahan's comments shows the lack of awareness of some so called first world citizens. It is not India and China that are the biggest polluters - the US is the world largest polluter, per capita, Sweden (and it's love for the polluting Volvo's) is not too far ahead either. Both the US and Sweden are bigger polluters, per capita than India. Secondly, the so called first world got there, by polluting early and continuing to do so. Children who factories help raise their families. These jobs are better than other choices they have. Anyways, preaching about environment and child labour is not going to change majority buying behaviour or stop the forward march of India and China. BTW, India is not miuch affected by the global meltdown - show how less reliant it is on the buying behaviour of the west.
00:30 July 3, 2009 by millionmileman
You had thunderstorms, because cold weather is moving in, from the USA, to replace the heatwave. It is much below normal this year in Wisconsin, that there maybe not enough time to grow corn for ethanol production, and that would cut down on air pollution. This is because of all the diesel saved in the farmers' tractors and the tanker trucks that transport it, not to mention all the heat required to distill the ethanol. At least my Saab's heater was toasty this morning.

The debate is over, there is no "Global Warming!"
08:51 July 3, 2009 by karex
>The debate is over, there is no "Global Warming!"

Of course not, but I guess someone forgot to inform this to the N/S Poles and Greenland who are melting away...
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