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Spring snowfalls cause transport turmoil

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Spring snowfalls cause transport turmoil
11:27 CEST+02:00
Heavy snowfalls in central Sweden have left swathes of the Stockholm area without electricity and caused major problems for public transport and road users on Saturday.

"We have ten ongoing (power) interruptions. We don't dare put a time on it yet, but we hope to remedy the outages quickly," said Magnus Kryssare at power utility Vattenfall to the TT news agency.

He underlined that staff are either already in place or on their way to fix the problems.

The heavy, wet snowfalls have however hampered efforts to get the power back on.

"There has been ten to fifteen centimetres of wet snow and it's hard to get around. We also have a helicopter on standby," he said.

At around 11am on Saturday, Vattenfall had about 13,500 customers without electricity.

Power utility Eon reported that 4,289 of the households it supplies in northern Stockholm were without power at 6.30am on Saturday. Many of these customers had been re-connected by mid-morning, according to a press release from the power company.

Fortum's customers were also affected with over 1,000 households without power on Saturday morning. The firm reported that its staff are working hard to address the problems.

Public transport across the Stockholm region was experiencing problems on Saturday morning following the snowfalls.

Bus services in several areas were delayed or cancelled with areas of black ice reported on roads.

The Roslagsbanan train services had been replaced by buses due to the power outages after a fallen tree pulled down overhead power lines.

Police in Stockholm had furthermore received a slew of reports of car accidents in the area during the course of the morning.

"There has been quite a number, 13 in total, which are connected to the weather," said Sven-Erik Olsson at Stockholm county police.

Therese Fougman at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) is however not overly surprised by the spate of wintry weather.

"In mid-April, most things can happen. There may be setbacks and there will be a little snow," she said.

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