Heavy rains strike north of Sweden

On Tuesday torrential rain flooded many roads in Sundsvall on the eastern coast of Sweden, a major power outage in the area was caused by the ensuing thunderstorms and a man in his sixties was taken to hospital after being struck by lightning.

Heavy rains strike north of Sweden

Emergency services in Sundsvall are now putting all their efforts into draining the infrastructure. Head of local emergency services, Mats Granat, is counting on being busy all night – if the weather clears.

“If the rains continue we’ll be working much longer,” he told news agency TT.

So far the water level hasn’t risen enough to pose a threat to the general public, according to Granat.

“You’ll just have try to go round and avoid the worst-stricken areas,” he told TT.

Heavy thundershowers also caused a major power outage and some 10,000 Swedish households were without electricity around lunchtime on Tuesday. However, power companies are counting on the problem being solved by the evening.

At the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) they say that thunderstorms can continually be expected along the northeastern coastline and across the country to counties Dalarna and Värmland well into the night.

“It is fairly intense and from what we have been told there have been hailstones and pretty serious thunderstorms,” said Elin Torstensson of SMHI to TT.

A man in his 60’s was taken to hospital after being struck by lightning at a race course outside of the northern town of Kramfors.

“He was in cardiac arrest and his face was bloody, but the chairman of the race course ran up and gave him heart massage, “ said Conny Ericsson, manager at the racecourse.

Despite the dramatic accident the man was reportedly not badly injured and was taken to a local hospital.

“They took him away on a stretcher but he answered when spoken to and was wiping his face. He seemed in good spirits,” said Ericsson.

According to the SMHI forecast, the thunderstorms should abate over the course of the evening but heavy rains will continue to fall over the north as well as traveling down to more southern parts of the country.

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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.