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Storm Dagmar leaves 'chaos' in its wake

TT/The Local/mh · 26 Dec 2011, 13:41

Published: 26 Dec 2011 13:41 GMT+01:00

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"This is a day many are planning to go home, But my advice is to postpone their journey as long as possible," said Peter Behrman, press information officer at the Swedish Transport Authority (Trafikverket) to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).

Although the storm has moved on, "chaos" is reportedly left in its wake, with rail traffic at a standstill, hundreds of thousands of households without power and fallen trees blocking many roads.

In some areas of Jämtland county, in central Sweden, Dagmar reached hurricane strength, leaving thousands of households without electricity.

Trees had fallen on several houses in Örebro and over many of the region's roads, blocking traffic. One man was taken to hospital after a fallen tree had crushed his camper van.

The Transport Authority had cancelled all trains in Northern Sweden already at 8 pm on Christmas day. The decision affected counties Jämtland, Gävleborg and Västernorrland.

“We are afraid trains will get stuck due to fallen power lines or similar,” explained Behrman at the time.

Approximately ten already departed trains were not able to reach their destinations due to the decision. A night train from Malmö bound for Åre was forced to stop for a long break in Gävle.

“About 400 passengers were offered to overnight on board,” Hasse Höwitz, the train operator's press contact, told TT.

The national rail service, SJ, also offered their travelers the ability to stay overnight on board the night train which was also forced to a stand still.

On tracks at destinations such as Åre, Luleå, Gothenburg and Stockholm, trains stood ready to go on Monday, awaiting the green light from the Swedish Transport Administration.

By early afternoon some north-bound trains were starting to roll again, but many departures were still left waiting to leave.

According to SJ's website, travelers affected can rebook their tickets or get their money back.

The rail service advice is to keep looking on their website for the most recent updates about departures.

Story continues below…

"And if you have an already booked ticket, you'll receive a text message with information," Magnus Andersson of the SJ press service told TT.

The stop in rail traffic has left many stranded and trying to find alternative routes home, putting pressure on long distance coach operators.

"People are standing everywhere wanting to get on the coaches. We are driving a much as we can manage," said traffic head for coach company Y-buss, Peter Westh, to TT.

By Monday afternoon, power companies could still not give any guarantees about when the over 154,000 households across Sweden currently without electricity would get their power back.

TT/The Local/mh (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:13 December 26, 2011 by Econogirl
I am currently on a train waiting in Åre to leave for Stockholm after boarding last night at 22h30. We have been told nothing is moving from here until after 18h00. Waiting, waiting, waiting....
13:43 December 26, 2011 by dammen
While here in Uppland, we worked all morning to be able to get our horses out of the stables after trees fell all around - luckily they were Ok and no tree fell on the house (but was a near miss) - at least we have electricity for the electric saw!
17:09 December 26, 2011 by waffen
Swedes, and all Nordics, survive and find a way to move on after winter storms. Cold, snow, winds, and darkness have forged hardiness.

The post from Uppland epitomizes that inate Nordic hardiness, " . . . we worked all morning to get our horses out of stables after trees fell all around . . ." whilst they are thankful that not one building suffered tree damage.

Looking to see what needs done, and setting about working to accomplish that goal, and being thankful that things are not so bad:no person or animal is injured, and thus all that remains is working to clean up after the storm, are Nordic traits.

A gift for every Christmas.
18:07 December 26, 2011 by Puffin
Feel for all of those 170,000 households without power this Christmas - hope that the electricity people get them re-connected soon (unlike the chaos after hurricain Gudrun where people were without power for up to a month in temperatures down to minus 20C)
20:29 December 26, 2011 by J Jack
Oh how incredible, a man injured in his camper van? Christmas mid-winter in a camper van. How clever.
20:55 December 26, 2011 by skogsbo
Jack, how incredible indeed, you have a winterised camper and you are visiting relatives/friends over the holiday, only the house is quite full already, where do you sleep? in your van of course, that's what it's for. So not that incredible really, just very unlucky, perhaps it's now a split screen? ;) (Sorry)

Puffin, I doubt it'll take so long, there has been a steady campaign to bury cables since Gudrun, I don't mind the cold when the power goes, since us country dwellers can light a fire, but it's impossible to pump water. City folk probably have the opposite problem.

Waffen, not sure what you're on... but happy ramblings :)
00:32 December 27, 2011 by David S
We dodged a bullet here. We just bought a house this month and a huge old tree right on the corner of our property got blown over ... missing the neighbour's boat by mo re than a metre or so .... phew. Think I'll read up on our insurance policy!
12:12 December 28, 2011 by Mb 65
Why don't people cut down trees that would hit their house if they are blown down. it is not only your property at risk it is your life. That was the first thing i did when i moved in. It's the same when there is heavy rain forecast move the car higher up.
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