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Weather agency issues fresh storm warning

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Weather agency issues fresh storm warning
14:18 CET+01:00
Snowfalls of up to 30-40 centimetres have been forecast for southern and central areas of Sweden on Friday evening. Meteorological agency SMHI has issued a storm warning with traffic disruption as a result.

SMHI has issued a class 2 storm warning (of four, with four being the highest) for large parts of Götaland and Svealand. A new snow front is heading in from the west and will dump large quantities of snow on already hard hit transport routes.

Strong north-easterly winds gave SMHI cause to warn of significant property damage, disruption to key public services and significant danger for the general public.

The bad weather is set to draw eastwards on Saturday, with snowfalls of 20-30 centimetres forecast for Stockholm.

The Swedish Rail Administration (Banverket) has warned of potential problems to rail services and has pledged that it is as prepared as it can be.

"We have as many people working at our traffic service centres as possible, as well as sub-contractors who are working three round-the-clock shifts with snow clearance," said Anna Hansson at the administration.

Transport problems began to occur across the Stockholm region as light snow began falling during the course of Friday morning.

Many school buses in western Sweden were cancelled due to the bad weather and one school was closed. In Vänersborg the Birger Sjöberg high school, as well as Torpa and Tärnan schools, were evacuated due to safety concerns over the large quantities of snow on roofs.

A roof, weighed down with snow, collapsed on a barn near Vimmerby in southern Sweden shortly after 10am on Friday morning. According to SOS Alarm emergency services there were around 50 young animals inside the building.

The Local reported on Thursday that many municipalities across Sweden had either exhausted their snow clearance budgets, or were close to doing so. With the heavy winter weather forecast to keep Sweden in its iron grip for a while yet, the economic consequences can only continue to mount.

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