Storm Helga shoots into south and west Sweden
TT/The Local · 4 Dec 2015, 17:22
Published: 03 Dec 2015 17:27 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Dec 2015 17:22 GMT+01:00
The storm, named 'Helga' by meteorologists moved north from Denmark around lunchtime on Friday, after Sweden's SMHI weather forecaster issued class-two warnings for central Sweden. The agency singled out the Östergötland, northern Västergötland, Dalsland, Bohuslän and Gothenburg areas.
"We could get gusts of wind of up to 25 metres per second," meteorologist Charlotte Eriksson told the TT news agency ahead of the storm's arrival.
But by 2pm wind speeds of more than 35 metres per second had already been recorded in several spots on Sweden's west coast, including in the country's second largest city, Gothenburg.
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The class-two warning is the second most serious issued by the Swedish weather institute (where class three is the most serious). It indicates possible "danger to the public, substantial material damages and major disruptions to essential services".
Several train routes were subject to heavy delays on Friday afternoon, TT reported, while many busy services were cancelled completely.
And around 40,000 customers were left without power by 4pm, reported the Aftonbladet tabloid.
Waves at the harbour in Gränna, southern Sweden. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
High winds were also expected in the Swedish capital, where a lower class one warning stands.
"We are in a situation right now where it's windy in most parts of the country," Sandra Andersson from SMHI told TT.
SMHI has additionally issued snow alerts for the central-northern Värmland, Dalarna and Gävleborg regions, telling residents they could expect up to 15cm of the white stuff by the end of the day.
IN PICTURES: Storm Gorm wreaks havoc in southern Sweden
Storm Helga hitting northern Denmark earlier on Friday. Photo: Henning Bagger/Scanpix/TT
The warnings came as a massive clear-up operation was still under way after Storm Gorm swept through southern and western Sweden on Sunday night, leaving a trail of destruction.
Recording wind speeds of up to 32 metres per second, it left tens of thousands of customers without power and toppled around 2.5 million cubic metres of forest, while residents reported everything from broken window panes to entire roofs blowing off.
Major insurance company Länsförsäkringar told The Local on Wednesday that it expected payouts of around 40-50 million kronor ($5.74 million) in the wake of the autumn storm.