Storm ‘Berit’ leaves 80,000 without power

Some 80,000 households remained without electricity in southern Sweden on Monday morning in the wake of the weekend's storm.

Storm 'Berit' leaves 80,000 without power

The low pressure front which caused the storm has passed Scandinavia, with its epicentre now close to St. Petersburg in Russia as it continues its march eastwards.

Winds battered several areas of southern Sweden with heavy rains in places.

“The wind is still hard locally,” said SMHI’s duty meteorologist Thomas Fyrby to the TT news agency early Monday.

The major power companies continued the battle to repair their battered power grid on Monday with the worst affected being Eon’s subscribers in the far south, mainly in Skåne, where around 60,000 lacked power.

“I dare not say when all this will be repaired,” said Jan-Erik Olsson at Eon’s press office.

The damage to Vattenfall’s network has hit about 16,000 subscribers, of which 12,500 are in Västergötland with most of them in the vicinity of Borås.

For Fortum the power outages affected around 5,200 customers. None of these companies dared venture a forecast for when the damage could be remedied.

Approximately 14,000 of Telia’s customers in southern Sweden had no telephone connection on Monday morning with the worst problems in Skåne where 6,500 subscribers had lost their fixed phone lines.

“Otherwise it is fairly evenly spread,” Henry Eld at Telia Sonera, told TT.

Rail traffic in southern Sweden gradually began to resume normal service on Monday morning, including the route between Malmö and Ystad.

According to the Transport Administration’s (Trafikverket) the southern main line is now navigable, except between Hässleholm and Alvesta.

Most major roads in southern and western Sweden are reported to be navigable again, including the Öresund and Öland bridge connections.

Air traffic remained affected, with both domestic and international flights from Arlanda and Landvetter airports suffering delays and cancellations.

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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.