Rescue workers fight rising flood levels

Emergency services in southern Sweden were concentrating their efforts on Tuesday evening on preserving "important societal functions" as flood-levels continue to rise.

Rescue workers fight rising flood levels

“We are building a wall around the treatment plants in Hultsfred and Målilla. We absolutely cannot let any water get in there,” said Andreas Enberg, head of Hultsfred’s rescue team, to the TT news agency.

The area around the Hulingen lake near the town of Hultsfred is worst affected after the heavy rains, but the situation may worsen with forecasts indicating that the torrential weather will continue.

In the last twenty four hours the water in the lake has risen by 38 centimetres and is continuing to rise.

However, the flooding in Mariannelund, Lönneberga and Silverdalen has started to retract, according to the website of the Kalmar County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen), and is now flowing towards the coast.

The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap, MSB) has sent a 1.2 kilometre long safety barrier and twelve water pumps, but is not currently planning to provide further aid.

”We are prepared and observing the situation,” said Marcus Årskog, secretary of press at MSB, told the news agency.

Hultred’s camping site, which is located next to Hulingen, has been issued with a class 3 flood warning after the water reached the camp site’s lawn.

Maik Rohde, the head of the campsite, has warned everyone against setting their camper vans or tents near the edge of the lake.

Some parts of the area are already covered by water and since water from the river Silverån is continuing to spill into Hulingen, the situation is not going to change.

“We have received some cancellations, but mainly from Norwegians and Danes who have been able to read about the warning. But surprisingly people have also made reservations because they want to see the flooding,” Rohde told TT.

Emergency services in the municipality of Vetland are reinforcing the dams in Pauliström, east of Vetlanda, where a paper and glass factory are at great risk of being damaged.

”Worst off is the industry area where there’s a risk of water spilling into the buildings. We have seven or eight people on location and factory staff are helping out,” Bruno Pilåsen, the head of Högalandets rescue association, told TT.

TT/Salomon Rogberg

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


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.