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Storm Jan: Transport disruptions and power outages in northern Sweden

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Storm Jan: Transport disruptions and power outages in northern Sweden
Trees uprooted further south in Sweden by a storm last week. File photo: Johan Nilsson / TT
10:00 CET+01:00
Sweden's meteorological institute has issued weather warnings for parts of northern Sweden, where a large storm swept in on Thursday night, causing school closures, power outages and transport disruptions.

Residents in the Västerbotten area were advised not to go outside unnecessarily and to drive extremely carefully if they had to as Storm Jan batters the region.

National weather agency SMHI has issued a Class 2 warning for stormy weather in Härjedalsfjällen, Jämtlandsfjällen and parts of Lapplandsfjällen, forecasting snow and average wind speeds of at least 25 metres per second, while some gusts might even reach hurricance levels.

In Stekenjokk, wind speed reached to 49 metres per second on Thursday night.

On Thursday night, 1000 people experienced temporary loss of power, according to SVT Norrbotten, but it had returned by Friday morning. Electricity provider Vattenfall has a map showing current outages, updated in real time on its website.

Local authorities have advised residents to remain prepared for further possible power outages, after the first storm of the year last week left thousands without electricity

"We recommend, among other things, to tie down loose objects, bottle up drinking water, buy tea lights and batteries and charge mobile phones," crisis communicator Lilian Johansson told the local paper Västerbottens-Kuriren.

Västerbotten's county board has reiterated advice to residents to gather necessities and not leave the house, while listening to local radio for updates on the situation.

Busses and trains in northwestern Sweden have been cancelled in anticipation of poor weather conditions. Train routes between Kiruna and the Norwegian town of Narvik, and between Östersund and Duved, were cancelled on Friday, with train company SJ informing customers the day before. And local bus lines in some of the worst affected areas have also been cancelled or had routes altered.

Areas where schools were closed included western Härjedalen and parts of the Vilhelmina municipality, according to local radio reports. 

The storm comes a week after parts of southeastern were hit by the first storm of the year. Storm Alfrida caused major disruption to traffic and power outages, and some residents in isolated islands of the Stockholm archipelago still have a long wait for electricity to be restored.

 
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