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160,000 without power in Sweden as strong storm stop rail traffic and make roads impassable

Monday, 26 December 2011
About 160,000 Swedish households were reported by 9 am Swedish time today to be without power and there was also intense disruption on rail transport as violent storm whipped parts of Sweden.

The wind described as having the component of hurricane was severe in mountainous regions. "Disaster" was the word summed up by the police about the state of the roads in the county of Örebro.

The Swedish Transport Administration was forced to stop the trains to and from as well as around the northern part of Sweden as early as yesterday evening and it is unclear when it might start again. An initial forecast was talking resumption by 8 o'clock Swedish time, but that has not happened. It is now being forecast that rail transport could resume by midday.

"No, we dare not say anything. The concern is that lots of trees have been blown down and overhead wires and lines have been damaged, "said Peter Behrman, press office of Swedish Transport Administration.

Worst hit are the areas of Dalarna, Gävleborg, Västernorrland and Jämtland. Repairers are on the way out to begin work. A dozen SJ train was stopped and parked at the station platforms in Åre, Lulea, Gothenburg and Stockholm - and the passengers had been offered to stay on board.

An estimated one thousand people have had to spend the night on the stationary trains. SJ's press office has no exact figure.
"We can only wait, we can not run trains, in such situation. We were afraid of just this, "says Magnus Andersson at the SJ's press office who thinks it was a wise decision by the Transport Administration to stop the train movement.

"Yes, absolutely. It would have been terrible if we had to run aground and been surprised by the storm in the woods, and had to let people standing in the cold train in the middle of nowhere.

Transport Administration also warns of emergency traffic situation. Road in Dalarna, Gävleborg, Jämtland and Västernorrland should be avoided or if so required extra precautions should be taken. One min feature here is that many trees have fallen across the roads.

More than 73,000 of Vattenfall's electricity customers were by early morning without power, mostly in Stockholm and Uppsala.
"As soon as it brightens the helicopters and technicians will be out on the field t determined and solve the problems. Also the wind has calm in some places, before any work can be carried out," said Victoria Raft of Vattenfall's press office.

Eon’s 56,000 customers were without power by 8 o'clock, the vast majority of them Västernorrland. More than 30,000 of Fortum's electricity customers were also by that time without power.
"We have about 100 people out there, and troubleshooting and carrying out repair, "says Alexandra Svenonius, Fortum's press service.
By Scancomark.se Team

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