Stockholm hit by ‘crazy’ electrical storm

It was a case of all hands to the pump for emergency services in the greater Stockholm area on Saturday night as the city was illuminated by 2,500 lightning flashes in a single hour.

“It was completely crazy,” said Åsa Holmberg, alarm operator with the Södertörn fire department.

She explained that the fire services were called out repeatedly during the night as automatic alarms sounded across the city and the surrounding areas, and fires broke out as lightning struck ground.

One house burned down in the southern suburbs of the city, but Stockholm fire services were mainly kept occupied dealing with flooding incidents, Dagens Nyheter reports.

“People got water in their basements and we had to do quite a bit of pumping. That’s usually the case when we get torrential rain,” Stockholm fireman Lasse Johansson told the newspaper.

As the storm gathered force, some 2,500 lightning flashes were recorded from Nynäshamn to the south of Stockholm and Norrtälje to the north in a single hour.

Sten Laurin from meteorological agency SMHI told Dagens Nyheter there were no statistics for lightning concentrations but noted that 11,000 flashes had been registered in the Värmland region in western Sweden over the course of several hours in July.

“That is very, very high but it was also over several hours and covered a larger area,” he said.

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