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Sweden's spring floods look set to intensify

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Sweden's spring floods look set to intensify
13:11 CEST+02:00
Sweden's weather agency SMHI has warned that the floods that caused severe disruptions in and around Uppsala on Friday will intensify, and weather warnings were issued for the north and south, too.

Several roads and rail services closed on Friday as rain and melting snow caused serious flooding in and around the university town of Uppsala. According to SMHI, the weather will get worse over the weekend.

"The water levels continue to rise and are expected to culminate over the weekend," SMHI hydrologist Kean Foster told the TT news agency.

In Uppsala, the Fyris river flooded in the centre of the city and rescue services in the region were unable to reach flood-hit single-family houses.

"We have to focus on crucial social services and not on single houses," said Tommy Sjölund, chief of staff at the Uppsala fire department.

Between Friday night and Saturday morning emergency calls from house owners reduced from around 35 to 10 compared to the day before.

"Information seems to have reached people and they understand that they have to deal with the situation themselves. Water entering your basement is not a life threatening situation, though we understand it is really sad for those who are affected," said Sjölund.

On Saturday morning rescue services were called to a restaurant in Uppsala where the outdoor furniture was about to be swept into the Fyris river.

During the day rescue personnel used a shovelling machine to drain water from a road outside Gimo in central Sweden where one lane had been shut because of the high water levels.

Meanwhile, the Norrala river in central Sweden continued swelling rapidly, too. SMHI issued a class 2 weather warning for the area, meaning there is a risk of "danger to the public, widespread material damage, and significant disruptions to important civic operations".

A class 1 warning was issued for large parts of south Sweden.

The weekend train traffic is expected to up and running between Stockholm and Uppsala and further north towards Gävle and Borlänge/Falun, though trains may run slower than normal as there is still a large amount of water by the tracks, according to the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket).

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