Worst hit was the E6 stretch, which links both north and south, and was blocked for hours according to the Swedish Transport Administration. Traffic was back up and running by lunchtime albeit with lengthy lines of frustrated motorists.
“It flooded basements, houses and roads,” Bosse Holmlund of emergency services in Gothenburg told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
The flood also affected the Nordstan shopping mall after a pipe burst. Many of the smaller rural roads are still strewn with puddles as a result of the downpour.
“We’ve had an intense few hours with between 40 to 50 alarm calls,” added Holmlund.
Gothenburg’s famous trams have also been ground to a halt in certain regions because of large puddles affecting the lines.
Severe rain leading to flooding is common due to the extreme drought caused by the recent heatwave according to Jenny Axén Mårtensson, a hydrologist with SMHI.
“If it had rained a bit before then the ground may have been able to soak up the water. But now the dry ground can’t really cope with this quantity of water,” she told the TT news agency.
She compared the dry earth with a new dishcloth and said; “If you put a pot of water on a dry dishcloth then it won’t soak up the damp instantly. The cloth needs to be a bit moist first.”
The municipality of Jönköping has been working to clear the floods as the clean up operation continues.
“Yesterday it was a disaster zone but today it is a lot better and you can recognize things again,” Rolf Landin, operations manager of the Jönköping municipality sewer system said.
However, Barbo Naslund-Landmark, who is an expert on natural disasters at the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency said lessons needed to be learned from the latest flood.
“In Sweden we are good at taking care of the large flows from lakes and rivers but this type of flooding we need to work on.”
Local weather forecast has reported that the precipitation will pass in the afternoon with sunshine expected on the west coast.