One dead as snowstorms cause traffic havoc

A young woman died in a car accident near Vårgårda in western Sweden on Tuesday morning as snowfalls and strong winds hampered road conditions and caused traffic problems.

One dead as snowstorms cause traffic havoc

The woman, who is reported to be in her twenties, died when her car collided with another vehicle on road 182 between Vårgårda and Annelund on Tuesday morning. The male driver of the other car sustained relatively minor injuries in the accident, according to Alingsås hospital.

Sweden’s main meteorological agency, SMHI, has issued a class two (in an increasing scale of three) weather warning in Östergötland, Södermanland, Stockholm, Västmanland and Uppsala for the coming days.

The warning means that weather conditions could “involve danger for the general public, significant material damage and major disturbances in key services”.

A bus carrying 30-40 passengers skidded off the road south of Norrköping in eastern Sweden on Tuesday, with a handful of people taken to hospital suffering from minor injuries.

Furthermore the slippery conditions have led to an increase in people with arm and leg fractures have been brought into Kärn hospital in Skövde.

“It is more than usual and concerns people who have slipped,” said Ulf Sahlén at the hospital.

Alexandra Ohlsson, duty meteorologist at SMHI, has called on road-users to exercise care.

“One should be careful when you go out, especially on the roads,” she said.

The adverse weather front is moving north through Sweden on Tuesday and is this evening expected to cause heavy snowfalls in eastern parts of Norrland.

“Persistent snowfalls will continue during the day, especially in areas where we have issued a class 2 warning – from north-eastern Götaland to eastern Svealand. Although snowfalls are also expected on the western side of Lake Vättern,” Ohlsson said.

City bus services have been cancelled in Uddevalla, Lidköping and Borås, with several traffic accidents reported in the Sjuhärad area of western Sweden.

Weather problems are not limited to the roads, with a French-owned oil tanker having run aground off Hävringe outside of Oxelösund, south of Stockholm.

The shipped has heeled, but is on its way into Oxelösund harbour and no oil is reported to have been spilled into the Baltic Sea.

SMHI has forecast that the wintry weather is set to persist throughout Tuesday and Wednesday, with clear skies expected around Stockholm and eastern Sweden on Thursday.

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Floods as Swedish cities get two months of rain in 24 hours

Large areas of Sweden saw extreme levels of rain over the weekend, with the city of Linköping receiving more than 100mm of rain in 24 hours, twice as it usually receives in the whole of August. 

Floods as Swedish cities get two months of rain in 24 hours

According to Swedish weather forecaster SMHI, the Linköping-Malmslätt area received 96mm between Saturday night at 8am on Sunday morning. The area normally received between 60mm and 70mm in August as a whole. 

“There was such an absurd amount of rain that the data was at first rejected by our system,” Therese Fougman, a meteorologist at the forecaster, told Sweden’s TT newswire. “It is continuing to rain during the day, and it is lying in a band over Östergötland, Sörmland och further up towards Uppland, predicting there would be a further 40mm to 50mm in the next 12 hours. 

The downpours have led to flooding in several areas, and caused traffic problem with cars at risk of aquaplaning on roads such as the E18, which were covered in a thick layer of water. 

Lennart Ågren, who was the duty leader of rescue services in Östra Götaland, told TT on Sunday afternoon that rescuers had been called out to several floods in Linköping and Mantorp. 

“There were streets under water, and water was running into properties so we had to throw all our resources at it for several hours,” he said. 

In Jönköping, rescue services were called out to flooding at a school and in other places, while in Växjö, lightening hit close to the place where a student party was being held at the local university campus. 

In Linköping, rescue services told TT that they had been called out 30 times. “We’ve been stretched but have managed to handle it,” said Pedher Helmer, who was in charge of rescue services in Östergötland over the weekend. 

The heavy rain is expected to move to Blekinge, Skåne, Öland and Gotland over the coming days, with a risk for flooding.