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Western Sweden threatened by flooding

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Western Sweden threatened by flooding
Parts of Uddevalla were flooded today. Photo: Göran Sjögren / TT
21:00 CET+01:00
Water levels continue to rise in western Sweden, with the Nordic nation's SMHI weather forecaster issuing class three warnings, the highest possible level, according to regional newspaper, Göteborgs-Posten

The peak of the high water levels is unlikely to hit tomorrow but the Uddevalla Bridge, 85km north of Gothenburg, has been closed and rail services on many routes have been suspended as the tail of Storm Helga continued to plague the region.

There is a threat of flooding for parts of Vastergotland and Halland. 

“We have not seen a peak yet. We expected it today or perhaps tomorrow but the highest levels have not yet come," Henrik Spångmyr, duty meteorologist at weather institute SMHI told the Swedish news agency, TT.

Since Saturday, there have been more than 50 millimetres of rain in several parts of Halland and Västra Götaland. In Mollsjönäs, east of Kungälv, more than 60 millimetres of rainfall has been recorded. The average for the entire month for the area in December is around 78 millimetres.

Railway services in large parts of Götaland, and some southern of Svealand, have been suspended.

Services on the Varberg-Boras-Herrljunga route are not expected to open until Friday, according to the Swedish Transport Administration. Part of the embankment is under water and power failures have been reported.

Guests at a hotel in Lilla Edet, Thorskogs Castle, had to be evacuated. 

“There are warnings for very strong winds over the north west Götaland and also on Gotland," said Therese Fougmark, meteorologist at SMHI.

Vattenfall announced that around 2000 customers in Östergötland, Södermanland and Örebro County are still without power after Storm Helga's rampage across Sweden.

Storm Helga hit 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.

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