Tens of thousands still without power in Sweden after New Year’s storm

Tens of thousands still without power in Sweden after New Year's storm
A fallen tree on the road to Norrtälje on Wednesday. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT
Tens of thousands of people in Sweden remained without power on Friday morning after the first storm of 2019 completely wiped out the electricity grid in many places.

Storm Alfrida hit hard across Uppsala and Stockholm counties on Sweden's east coast on Wednesday.

Winds of more than 108 kilometres per hour uprooted trees and dislodged objects such as signs and scaffolding, causing transport disruption and power blackouts.

Almost 100,000 households were left without electricity, and although power had been restored to the majority of people by Friday morning, more than 20,000 remained without electricity days after the storm.

Repair work got under way, with backup power plants flown by helicopter to islands. But Vattenfall and Eon, two of the companies affected, warned that it could take a week to rebuild some power lines from scratch.

According to Vattenfall's website, power had yet to be restored to more than 17,000 of its customers in Norrtälje municipality alone – one of the worst-hit areas – when The Local looked at 8.30am on Friday.

Fire stations in the area stayed open on Thursday and Friday so that local residents could collect water, charge their phones or just come inside to stay warm and have a cup of coffee.

Late on Thursday fire stations in Norrtälje city, Rimbo, Hallstavik and Älmstad also offered sleeping space for those who did not have a warm place to spend the night. It was also possible to shower or heat food. Local authorities urged people to spread the word.

READ ALSO: Storm Alfrida plunges thousands of homes into darkness

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