Thousands without power and traffic disrupted as 2019’s first storm hits Sweden

Storm Alfrida has caused major problems for transport, with fallen trees blocking roads and disruption to ferries.

Sweden's southern regions, Svealand and Götaland, have been hardest hit by heavy winds on Tuesday night and into the morning, while in Norrland the weather is calmer in most places.

Class 2 weather warnings remained in place for parts of eastern Svealand, particularly Stockholm and Uppsala, as well as the island of Gotland on Wednesday morning.

Rescue services and the Swedish Transport Authority had sent out staff to deal with fallen trees and to keep roads usable. By Wednesday morning there had been no reports of injuries to people in relation to the storm.

"Our impression is that it is worst in the northern part of our area, especially in Uppland, which is where the storm is coming from," Jonas Fröjmark from Greater Stockholm's rescue services told TT. "There are lots of trees which have fallen on roads."

In several places other objects such as signs and scaffolding have become dislodged and are blocking roads. The Transport Authority has advised against all but essential travel in those areas most severely affected by the storm.

In Stockholm, the public transport network was also experiencing disruptions, with the Roslagsbanen not running at all, but expected to start up again later on Wednesday, and delays and diversions on the bus network. Up-to-date information about traffic disruptions can be found on the SL website.

Several ferry lines were also affected, and all ferry journeys to and from Visby on Gotland have been cancelled for Wednesday. Ferries to Åland were also cancelled, although routes to Finland, Estonia and Latvia were running as usual.

Air travel has not yet been affected by the stormy weather, but a spokesperson at Swedavia advised travellers to get to airports in good time given the difficult conditions on many roads.

Storm Alfrida is caused from low pressure air moving over from Iceland. Although the weather is set to improve from Wednesday onwards, the strong winds were expected to remain in place throughout the day.

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