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Met agency issues flood warning

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07:36 CEST+02:00
The Swedish meteorological agency, SMHI, has issued a class one (of four) warning in parts of central Sweden as melting snow causes water levels to rise dramatically.

In Värnamo in southern Sweden preparations have been made to avert disaster should the river Lagan break its banks.

"The forecast says that we will reach the same levels next week as we did during the 2004 floods. But this naturally depends on how much rain arrives," Anders Nyberg at Värnamo municipality told news agency TT.

Lagan, which runs straight through the centre of the town, has risen by 50 centimetres over the past week and water levels continue to rise at a rate of a centimetre an hour.

On Sunday authorities began pumping water from the waterway in an attempt to avert flooding in cellars of buildings close by.

Thomas Johansson at the technical office in Värnamo deems the situation under control however. The emergency services worked furiously at the end of last week to build dams along the river's banks.

But the danger of flooding is not reserved to central areas of the town, with heavy rains on Sunday causing minor flooding at other points along Lagan's water system.

"These are not directly linked to Lagan, but floods there affect other properties," Tomas Johansson said.

Although Lagan's water levels have climbed by 50 centimetres over the week, it would need a further metre for the banks to break.

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