Floods and transport disruption after heavy rainfall across central Sweden

Heavy rainfall has led to hundreds of flooded buildings and roads in central Sweden that continue to disrupt traffic on Thursday.

Floods and transport disruption after heavy rainfall across central Sweden
Traffic in Wednesday's heavy rain along the E18. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

The highest levels of rain fell in Tullinge in Botkyrka, and in Södertälje: 58 millimetres had fallen in the 24 hours leading up to Wednesday evening, according to weather agency SMHI. 

Several roads have been flooded and on Thursday morning, in the six regions where an SMHI warning was in place, around 20 roads were affected by floods. The worst affected regions are Stockholm and Örebro, according to the Swedish Transport Administration.

Train traffic is also affected and passengers on many routes can expect delays. This applies, among others, to traffic between Stockholm and Gothenburg, due to flooding between Hallsberg and Laxå.

The Stockholm-Uppsala section is also affected due to flooding between Knivsta and Uppsala. As a result, SJ has had to cancel ten trains on this route.

Rescue services in Uppsala, Stockholm and Södertörn have received hundreds of reports of flooding, including at parks and private homes.

“We had almost 150 reports that came in and 50 of them we managed to try to remedy in some way,” rescue worker Tommy Wållberg told the TT newswire.

“Parks flooded and water got into a number of basements at the same time. We had to prioritise socially important functions and properties, as well as those of cultural-historical value. So unfortunately, there were many private individual owners who wanted help, which we could not help.”

People braving the rain in Sundbyberg, north of Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

The rain is forecast to continue on Thursday across much of southern Sweden, but not at the same intensity as yesterday.

However, it will likely take some time before things are running as normal on the affected roads.

“The rain has slowed down, but even if there is not as much rain, it is still adding to what has already fallen,” noted SMHI meteorologist Lars Knutsson early on Thursday morning.

During Thursday, there are Class 1 warnings (the least severe on a three-point scale) for high water levels in six regions: Östergötland, Södermanland, Stockholm, Uppsala, Västmanland and Örebro.

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