Storm Dagmar

Christmas storm causes problems for thousands

On Monday night communities in central and northern Sweden were still dealing with the effects of a powerful storm which produced hurricane-force winds that knocked over trees and telephone poles. Major roadways were blocked, train traffic stopped, and thousands of homes without power.

Storm Dagmar formed from a low pressure system in Iceland and wreaked havoc in Norway before moving into Sweden and up over the northern part of the country. Nearly 170,000 households lost power. Many thousands were expecting to spend Monday night without power.

Dagmar stopped all train traffic north of the city of Gävle for most of Boxing Day, one of the busiest days of the year for rail trips. National transportation officials were warning Swedes in the most affected areas to "stay home" Monday because of the bad road conditions.

A metereologist told daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet that Dagmar's strong winds were all-the-more effective because frost hasn't set in yet which means trees were more easily uprooted from the ground.

The winds were so strong that some families reported the roofs of small shacks had blown off. News agency TT reported that blocked roadways had caused problems for emergency personnel in parts of the country.

The national weather agency SMHI continued to warn for strong winds Monday. And another low pressure system is expected for the evening.