Extreme cold finally lifts from Skellefteå

Extreme temperatures have arrived in northern Sweden, and have been made worse by the failure of Skellefteå Kraft's district heating systems in two areas.

Skellefteå 2 januari 2024 10:24

A look at the temperatures at SMHI's various monitoring stations shows that the worst of the cold has left Skellefteå. At Skellefteå airport, the temperature was -16.1 degrees below at 09:00, and the monitoring station at Bjuröklubb showed -13.7 degrees below

At the same time, however, it was colder than minus 20 degrees in many places, including Norsjö, Lycksele and Umeå.

Here is how cold it was at some of SMHI's monitoring stations at 09:00:

Skellefteå airport: -16.1

Bjuröklubb: -13.7

Norsjö: -22.4

Malå-Brännan: -18.7

Umeå airport: -26.6

Pite-Rönnskär: -24.5

Lycksele: -29.7

Arvidsjaur: -22.9

During the day, the temperature will rise in both Norrbotten and Västerbotten, according to SMHI's forecast.

UPDATE: 22:05

The ventilation in all municipal buildings in Skellefteå was shut down when the municipality of Skellefteå was told about problems in the district heating network.

The decision was made shortly before 11 o'clock on Friday and affected properties from Mobacken in the west to Skelleftehamn in the east, as well as the area between Morö Backe and Anderstorp in the north to south.  

Nursing homes were also affected, as there was concern that the ventilation systems would be damaged if they continued to operate. To prevent damage, the ventilation units had to be heated, and if they couldn't be heated properly when cold air came in, they could break down, explained Ralf Isaksson, section head for maintenance and cleaning at Skellefteå municipality.

UPDATE: 20:15

Trafikverket initially decided to extend the railway closure north of Umeå until 12 o'clock on Friday.

Now the train stoppage will be extended further, but the plan is for the train service to resume during the weekend, according to VK.

Christer Berglund, business manager at Vy train, said that the Norrtåg train service between Umeå, Luleå and Kiruna would resume on Saturday morning. As for the overnight train service between Stockholm and Narvik, the plan is to resume it on Sunday afternoon.

The staggered resumption of train services is due to the rolling stock. The trains have been exposed to extreme cold and it takes time to get them running again. It's easier with the types of vehicles Norrtåg uses, and the specifications of the different vehicles determine the time frame.

Berglund adds that they have had to adapt to the vagaries of the weather, but they hope that everything will be back to normal as the weekend progresses as the weather forecast looks much better.

UPDATE: 17:05

Skellefteå Buss is canceling all services on Saturday and Sunday. The bus company announced this in a press release.

"The prolonged cold has taken a toll on our buses, affecting all bus models and fuel types. In addition, it has been a challenge to maintain an acceptable working environment for our drivers, which of course we must be able to provide. In order to ensure that public transport is fully operational on Monday, we need to check the buses over the weekend and will have extra staff working to fix the problems that have arisen," says Skellefteå Buss production manager Christoffer Wadén.

The stoppage will affect both city and regional services.

UPDATE: 16:30

On Friday afternoon, Skellefteå Kraft received a delivery of oil to be used as fuel for the district heating network.

–We are expecting further deliveries during the afternoon. If everything goes according to plan, the situation will be better than originally feared, although the danger has not passed, said Elin Ala from Skellefteå Kraft.

– We have never had such a high turnover of oil in our auxiliary plants as during this cold spell. It's unusual.

Is it just the cold, or is it because of our new industries, or because there are more people living here now?

– It's the weather, the extreme cold, and that it has lasted for so many days, says Ala.

UPDATE: 16:00

Diesel fuel is becoming difficult to obtain in several places. These diesel problems were discussed at a special meeting held by Skellefteå municipality this morning. Problems with the district heating network were also discussed at the meeting (see the story below for more information).

According to the municipality's head of security, Patrik Moberg, the municipality's operations are not significantly limited by the diesel problem.

– It's more or less solved, we've looked at different solutions.

However, Sonny Bergmark, head of the home care service, says it has been a little difficult to refuel during the day.

– We have different types of vehicles: electric, diesel or gasoline. It's been a little difficult to refuel the diesel vehicles today; not all the stations have been operational. But as far as I know, it's been resolved, people have been helping each other and sharing information about where to refuel.

The diesel problems also caused problems elsewhere. For example, there were problems with the distribution of Norran in Norsjö on Friday due to the shortage of diesel. On Friday, OKQ8 in Norsjö also ran out of diesel.

Readers have also contacted us about the diesel problems, and Norran has spoken to both the Circle K and OKQ8 stations in Skellefteå, both of which have confirmed that their tanks have been empty for the past day.

On Thursday, Västerbottens-Kuriren reported that the diesel pumps had stopped working due to the severe cold.

– Nothing can be done about it; it just has to get warmer. This doesn't usually happen, so our technicians are having as much trouble as we are in assessing the situation, Erica Lundgren, CEO of OK Västerbotten, told Västerbottens-Kuriren on Thursday.
She also said:

– It's probably happened in more places, and we're not the first. There are other stations and competitors who may be experiencing the same situation, says Lundgren.

Earlier in the week, Norran reported a run on diesel in Skellefteå. The reason was lower fuel prices due to the reduced obligation to add biofuels, and lower taxes.

UPDATE: 15:50

This afternoon, the city council held a special session, in part because of the district heating crisis.

Another reason was the diesel shortage in Skellefteå.

The meeting was attended by several city departments, including health and social services, home care, real estate, schools and the emergency services. Skellefteå Kraft also attended the meeting.

– We had a review meeting to get a comprehensive picture of the situation, says Patrik Moberg, security manager at Skellefteå municipality.

He says the overall assessment is that the municipality has "good basic preparedness".

– We haven't decided to move to a higher level of preparedness, but we are constantly monitoring the situation. If the operations team see that the situation is deteriorating, they will tell me, says Moberg.

UPDATE: 14:40

As Skellefteå Kraft deals with serious issues in the district heating network, the weather forecast from SMHI indicates that Skellefteå will continue to face very cold temperatures throughout the weekend.

– Friday and Saturday's temperatures are expected to be around minus 30 degrees, and in some places, it could drop to minus 35 degrees, meteorologist Erik Höjgård-Olsen explains. The cold will persist into Sunday.

– It'll still be cold on Sunday, but not as extreme. Temperatures will range from around minus 30 to minus 20 to 25 degrees. 

By Sunday afternoon and evening, it will start to get warmer.

– Each hour will bring a little more warmth, but the big change will come on Monday. It could be just a few degrees below zero or even above freezing, Höjgård-Olsen adds.

UPDATE: 15:25
In some districts, the district heating has been affected.

– In Mobacken, there is currently a shortage of hot water. There's also a delay in indoor heating, so it takes two to three hours before the radiators are completely cold, says Mimmi Jonsson, communications director at Skellefteå Kraft.

According to Skellefteå Kraft's operational information map, Sunnanå is also affected.

– If there is an interruption in the district heating, you will notice it in the house after a little while, while the hot water will stop immediately.

UPDATE: 12:45

The extreme cold has created a critical situation for district heating in Skellefteå. This was announced by Skellefteå Kraft in a press release.

"When it is very cold, Skellefteå Kraft has to use our oil-fired boilers in order to maintain a sufficiently high temperature in the district heating network. However, the cold has caused problems with the delivery of the oil used to fuel these boilers," the press release says.

Skellefteå Kraft is doing everything in its power to get the oil needed to replenish this supply, but it will not be enough.

"From today, Friday, the fuel shortage will affect some of Skellefteå Kraft's district heating customers. The risk is greatest in Skellefteå. The first thing the affected customers will notice is that their hot water will stop. The heat in the radiators will gradually decrease over about 2-3 hours," Skellefteå Kraft writes.

The company urges all customers to reduce their use of heating and hot water.

"If many reduce their consumption a little, fewer customers will be affected by the loss of heating and hot water. This state of affairs will hold until the end of the severe cold snap which, according to the SMHI forecast, will occur on Sunday evening," the press release concludes.

UPDATE: 11:05

18 households have been without power in Stavaträsk since around 06:00, six households in Bureå since 06:00, two households in Fridhem since around 05:00, and eight households in Norrliden since 20:30 on Thursday evening.

There have also been power outages in Petikträsk and Brännforssund during the night.

UPDATE: 07:45

Skellefteå Buss writes in a press release:

"The extremely cold temperatures are expected to persist on Friday as well, leading to certain changes in public transportation.

All regional traffic is canceled on Friday 5/1 except for the following routes which will still operate:

Kåge – Skellefteå line 210

Departure time from Kåge

13:45 Route number 17

21:45 Route number 29

23:15 Route number 31

Skellefteå – Kåge Route 210

Departure time from Skellefteå

08:15 Route number 06

16:15 Route number 20

20:15 Route number 28

00:00 Route number 32

Local traffic:

Route 4 canceled trips from Bergsbyängarna to Mobacken:

1 05.10

3 05.40

5 06.10

9 07.10

13 08.10

Route 4 canceled trips from Mobacken to Bergsbyängarna:

4 06.00

6 06.30

8 07.00

12 08.00

Other local traffic operates as usual until 8.00 am. Trips departing from the starting stop after 8.00 am are canceled until 2.00 pm.

Updates will be provided during the day regarding traffic in the afternoon and evening.

The airport shuttle operates as usual."

On Facebook, Skellefteå Buss also writes:

"The reason we are not operating the whole day is that the buses need to be brought in to be warmed up, so we can ensure as much traffic as possible. All to minimize the risk for passengers having to wait outside in extreme cold and to ensure an acceptable working environment for our drivers."

UPDATE: 15:30
There have been problems with the district heating in Sunnanå on Thursday, announces Skellefteå Kraft. It has affected heating and hot water supplies to properties in the area.

The issue is expected to be resolved by 16:00.

On Thursday morning, Skellefteå Kraft announced that the problems with the district heating in Ursviken and Skelleftehamn are likely to continue as long as the extreme cold persists over the area.

There are still also ongoing problems with the district heating in Burträsk, affecting a few households.

UPDATE: 14:10
The police recommendation is to stay indoors during the day.

But if you have to go out, Peter Enmark of the police says to be prepared:

– The vast majority of people forget to wear enough clothes. You have to dress for the outdoors. Nobody goes out to be involved in a traffic accident, but it happens. So you still need to be well-dressed.

In addition, Peter Enmark believes that you should think as usual when driving in the winter.

– Leave on time and bring food and fluids with you. Ask yourself the question: 'What can happen to me during my trip?' The most important thing is to think ahead. Most of the time people are not well enough prepared.

If you get into a traffic accident or have to stand for a long time, you need warmth.

- In these temperatures, you get cold very quickly. Seek warmth and keep your body moving.

UPDATE: 12:35
Skellefteå Buss has adjusted its bus schedules to ensure that people can still get to and from work.

– We are trying to meet the needs of commuters. Those who went to work this morning should be able to get home, but we will limit the traffic as much as possible. We're doing our best, but these are extreme temperatures for our buses when it's been so cold for so long, says Marie Larsson, CEO of Skellefteå Buss. It's difficult to work out the exact number of bus trips that will be canceled throughout the day.

– The advantage in the middle of the day is that traffic slows down. The busy times are in the morning and when people go home. We try to match those times, and then we cancel the buses in the quieter periods so we can warm them as much as possible so they become drivable.

UPDATE: 10:00
The extreme cold will cause many disruptions to public transport on Thursday. Skellefteå Buss is cancelling all city traffic between 08:00 and 14:00. All buses between Burträsk and Skellefteå will also be canceled.The company also warns that other routes may be canceled at short notice.

The reason for the cancellation of the city routes is that the buses have to be brought in to be warmed up. "All in order to minimize the risk of passengers having to wait outside in extreme cold and to ensure an acceptable working environment for our drivers," Skellefteå Buss writes in a press release.

The buses will start running again with departures scheduled from 14:00 to 18:00. After that, the buses will be brought in to be warmed up again until 21:30.

In addition to the Burträsk lines 225, 226 and 229, regional traffic is expected to operate as usual on Thursday.

"However, please note that additional services on both local and regional transport may be canceled at short notice. We ask for your understanding for any problems that the disruptions may cause during these extreme weather conditions," Skellefteå Buss writes.

UPDATE: 13:10
SMHI is predicting a big change in the weather, with plus degrees early next week that will last for several days.

– It is a pretty significant change in the weather. The cold high pressure over you in northern Sweden is moving south. To the north of the high pressure there is a low pressure system that has a significant impact in Västerbotten, says Mattias Lind, a meteorologist at SMHI.

He says that the forecast for plus degrees is "highly probable".

– It is a part of high pressure front that forms over the Norwegian Sea, very northerly, and then moves towards Iceland and then over northern Scandinavia."

It looks like it could be more than 30 degrees warmer in just a few days. How common is that?

– It can change quite quickly from cold in the high pressure to warmer. But I would say this is a really dramatic increase in temperature, although it's hard to say how unusual it is.

The forecast for the end of next week is more uncertain, but it looks to be getting colder again.

– It looks like a clear colder trend. Already on Friday or Saturday it looks like the temperatures will drop, says Lind.

UPDATE: 12:00
Region Västerbotten has posted on its Facebook page on how to protect yourself against frostbite.

Frostbite starts when the skin becomes white and cold. The sensation in the frostbitten area disappears.

You may feel a stinging or burning sensation as the area begins to thaw. It may be painful. The area may become swollen, red, and sometimes blistered.

Frostbite is a cold-related injury that occurs when skin and other tissues freeze due to exposure to very cold temperatures. Its symptoms can be divided into mild (frostnip) and more severe frostbite. Here are the typical symptoms:

Frostnip (Mild frostbite):

Cold skin and a tingling sensation: Initial exposure to cold may cause a tingling or prickling sensation.
Numbness: As exposure continues, you may lose sensation in the affected area.

Red, white, bluish-white, or gray-yellow skin: Skin color may change during and after exposure.
Hard or waxy skin: Affected skin may feel harder or waxier than normal.

Frostbite (progressing to more severe stages):

Increased pain, swelling, and inflammation: These symptoms often get worse as the skin gets warmer.
Blisters: Fluid-filled blisters may appear within 24-36 hours after rewarming.
Necrosis (death of skin tissue): Affected skin may become black and hard as tissue dies.
Joint and muscle stiffness: In severe cases, frostbite can limit movement in the affected areas.
It's important to realize that frostbite can cause permanent damage to the skin, tissue, and underlying structures such as muscles, nerves, and bones. In extreme cases, it can lead to amputation of the affected area. Early detection and proper medical care are critical.

When should I seek medical attention?
Contact a healthcare provider if you have a frostbite injury that has not healed after two weeks. Wait until a weekday if it's the weekend. Many clinics can be contacted online

Contact a health center or urgent care center immediately if you have a frostbite injury with blisters or deep frostbite. If the clinic is closed, go to an emergency room.

Deep frostbite should only be warmed if the injured body part can be kept warm until you receive care. If you cannot keep the body part warm, it is better to keep it cold. The injury may get worse if the body part thaws and then becomes cold again.

Call 1177 for medical advice. You can get help assessing symptoms or finding out where to go for treatment.

Tips for recognizing frostbite

It can be difficult to notice that you have frostbite because the sensation disappears. One tip for spotting frostbite in others is to look for white patches on your cheeks, nose, and ears. You can move your fingers and toes to see if you still have sensation.

You should try to get inside or out of the wind and cold as soon as possible.

Change into dry clothes. It's also a good idea to drink a warm beverage.

A frostbite injury should be warmed immediately, otherwise the damage can become serious.

The best method is skin-to-skin warming. You can warm a frostbitten cheek with a warm hand and warm fingers in the armpits. Frostbitten toes can be warmed on someone else's stomach or in an armpit.

Continue warming until normal color and sensation return, even if it is painful.

Deep frostbite should only be warmed if the injured part of the body can be kept warm until you receive care.

How to prevent frostbite in cold weather

The most important thing you can do to prevent frostbite is to dress properly when you're out in the cold. Wear a hat. Dress loosely in several thin layers rather than one thick layer. Do not wear cotton clothing next to your body. Wind and moisture cause you to cool down faster. The outermost layer should be windproof.

Wear extra socks and gloves in case you get wet. Also remember that glasses, watches, and metal jewelry can cause superficial frostbite when it's cold outside.

Wash your face the night before

Clean, dry skin resists cold the best, but you should not wash or shave your face the same morning you go out. Instead, wash your face the night before. This gives the natural lipid layer that protects the skin time to regenerate. There are no creams to help with the cold.

UPDATE: 11:15
– Several bus routes to and from Skellefteå have been cancelled this morning. These include departures from Skellefteå to Arvidsjaur, Malå, Sorsele and Luleå, as well as departures from Arvidsjaur, Lycksele and Arjeplog to Skellefteå.

Harriet Söder, CEO of Länstrafiken Västerbotten, confirms that there were problems with regional traffic in the northern part of the county on Wednesday morning.

– The situation is such that there are some cancelled trips in this part of the county. It's a difficult situation when it gets this cold. It's clear that it's the northern parts of the county, Norsjö had the coldest temperature this morning," she says.

Söder explains that the cancellations may be due to vehicle breakdowns, but mainly because the buses did not run for safety reasons.

– It's very cold. It would be terrible if something happened on the way. We can't do anything but adapt to the weather situation, she says, continuing:

– My advice is, if you're going to travel, keep yourself updated so you know what the situation looks like. You can do that through our app or our website.

The traffic situation for buses in southern Västerbotten is more stable.

– There are no disruptions right now as far as I can see. It's minus 24 in Umeå and traffic is running as usual, says Söder.

UPDATE: 11:00
According to Mattias Lind, a meteorologist at SMHI, there are no cold weather warnings.

– The only warnings we have are for high temperatures in the summer; we don't have a corresponding warning for the winter," he says.

SMHI's Finnish counterpart warns of extreme cold. But SMHI does not. Why not?

– When these temperature warnings were designed, cold was not considered a serious enough phenomenon, because we are in latitudes where it is cold, and our infrastructure is adapted to it.

They do, however, have a warning for the wind chill effect with the brisk winds associated with severe cold, as it is harder to predict how severe the cold will be. But they do not currently have warnings for just low temperatures.

Sonny Bergmark, head of home care services for the municipality of Skellefteå, said on Tuesday that they have no special preparations for the cold.

– We hope that the cold will subside. SMHI has not issued any warnings about the cold, he told Norran.

– It's really interesting because they issue yellow and orange warnings when it's windy and snowy, and you might wonder why they don't do that with very cold temperatures. Especially if you were to get stranded somewhere in the cold, it would become a real concern.

UPDATE: 08:45
The cold weather has caused several ski slopes to close.

On Tuesday, the slopes at Tjamstan in Malå, Vitbergsbacken in Skellefteå, Klutmarksbacken outside Skellefteå, Storklinta ski center outside Jörn and Galtis ski area in Arjeplog were closed due to the cold.

But one slope that remained open was Bygdsiljumsbacken.

– We have no cold limit, so we are open all week as usual, says Jesper Sundh, head of reception at Bygdsiljumsbacken.

How many visitors did you have yesterday?

– It was very quiet; we only had about a dozen skiers.

In Båtsjaur, meanwhile, the temperature is down to minus 49.5 degrees.

UPDATE: 08:35
This is how the forecast looks from 8 o'clock on Wednesday.

It's just a matter of gritting our teeth and preparing for another day of deep cold. I hope our readers haven't lost their water supply as we've done here south of Burträsk.

Still very cold.

UPDATE: 17:20

A temperature of -35.1 degrees below zero was recorded at noon at the weather station at Skellefteå airport. This is the coldest temperature recorded at the station in more than a decade.

The last time it was this cold in Skellefteå was in February 2012, when -36.5 degrees below zero was recorded.

The coldest temperature ever recorded at Skellefteå Airport was in February 1966, when the thermometer showed -38.0 degrees below zero.

UPDATE: 16:50
Customers in Ursviken and Skelleftehamn are still without heat following an operational fault in Skellefteå Kraft's district heating network.

– We have full district heating production at Rönnskär and customers in the district heating network are expected to get their heat back during Tuesday evening, but it may take a few more hours before they have normal heat in their homes, says Mimmi Jonsson, communications manager at Skellefteå Kraft.

Skellefteå Kraft has also made more technical field staff available and will keep its fault reporting service open for extended hours in case more customers are affected by operational faults.

According to a reader, the temperature in Båtsjaur is currently 47.3 degrees below zero.

The municipality of Arjeplog holds the Swedish record for the lowest temperature ever recorded at a weather station. In Vuoggatjålme, outside Arjeplog, a temperature of -52.6 degrees Celsius was recorded on February 2, 1966. Will this record be broken?

UPDATE: 15:30
According to Niklas Einevik, a meteorologist at SMHI, a significant high pressure system with cold air is over northern Sweden.

– It has brought Siberian cold over northern Scandinavia and northern Finland. The winds are weak, so the temperature continues to drop.

The extensive ice in the Bothnian Bay also makes it easier for the cold to settle along the coasts.

– There's ice present even a few miles out from the coast and therefore there's no help from the sea to raise the temperature, which leads to an inland-like climate on the coast.

What largely determines the temperature is cloud cover, and when it's clear, the temperature can fall quickly.

– There's not much wind to speak of, so the high pressure front stays put and doesn't move anywhere. So it will stay cold for the next two days, he says.

It's basically the same air mass over northern Norrland, but it's significantly colder in the valleys, where the cold air is very heavy.

It will only get milder towards Saturday and Sunday, when milder air moves in from the west.

According to the SMHI tables, humidity will be around 80 percent. The relative humidity is high, but the actual humidity has a low amount of water, he explains.

– The cold air can't hold much water, but on the other hand, it's easy to reach maximum humidity."

It's record temperatures on Tuesday, for example in Umeå, which has a record of -30.7 degrees, the lowest temperature regardless of the month since 2012.

– We have -34 degrees at Skellefteå airport now, according to our measurements, says Einevik at 14:00.

During the morning, the temperature there was also -34 to -35 degrees.

– It's a remarkable, widespread cold.

There is no data from Malå yet, but Piteträsk has -30 degrees, Lycksele -36 degrees, and Vilhelmina had -39 degrees earlier in the day, where it's not so cold now.

– In Norsjö it's "only" -28 degrees, and that's because of some cloud cover.

Einevik says he can see on a satellite image that some clouds are starting to form, which could slightly dampen the cold on the coast.

The cold could stay at -35 degrees Wednesday and Thursday, but if it gets cloudier, it could rise to -25 to -30 degrees.

– If the cloud  spreads out, it could mean maybe five degrees milder. Otherwise, it's not out of the question that it could get a degree colder, but I think it's going to stay around -35 as long as it's cold and before it changes over the weekend.

Why don't you issue a cold snap warning?

– We don't have a low temperature advisory. We don't have national weather warnings.

Why don't you have a weather warning?

– That's a good question, and I don't really have a good answer.

He says SMHI has never had a warning for cold, and it's "not in the repertoire."

UPDATE: 13:45
Skellefteå Buss had problems starting some of its buses during the cold snap on Tuesday morning.

– We were mainly affected in the morning, but also sometimes during the day. When it's this incredibly cold, the challenge is to get the buses started, because we have outdoor garages and the engines are affected, says Christoffer Wadén, production manager at Skellefteå Buss.

This mainly leads to delays and cancellation for city buses, but also some regional lines.

– City traffic is more affected, as there are more stops and the doors open more often. There may be delays. Dress for the weather and be prepared for your bus to be affected, says Wadén.

County transport in Västerbotten will also be affected on Tuesday. This concerns route 55 between Umeå and Vännäs, where a number of departures have been cancelled.

– In Vännäs it was even colder than in Umeå, minus 37 degrees in some places, says Hariett Söder, CEO of Länstrafiken in Västerbotten.

She has a message for travelers:

– If you're traveling, it's good to keep an eye on tabussen.nu or our app in case your bus is affected.

It's cold!

UPDATE: 12:35
Lina Kemppainen, assistant principal at Auraskolan in Skelleftehamn, says they usually have 130 children in the after-school program, but on Tuesday there are just 20.

– We have installed heaters, and we have an area where we have direct electric heating, so we have heat there, she says.

She believes that the district heating is not working and says that they are trying to get in touch with Skellefteå Kraft.

– The heaters were installed around ten o'clock on Tuesday, and I would guess that we had 13 to 14 degrees when the staff arrived.

– We have not sent information to the parents; we're dealing with the problem here.

If the district heating is not fixed they will consult the staff, and if it is decided that the school cannot open tomorrow, parents will be informed.

– But we are obliged to open, because not everyone has the opportunity to keep their children at home. 

Storklinta, Vitberget and Klutmark ski slopes are closed. 

UPDATE: 12:05
It's not just Skellefteå Kraft that has had problems with district heating during the cold snap. Umeå Energi also had problems with the heat supply on Tuesday.

An outage was discovered around 07:00, affecting large parts of Umeå, including Teg, Forslunda, Söderslätt, Tomtebo, Ålidhem, central Umeå and Grubbe.

– One of our boilers in Röbäck stopped during the night and was disconnected from the grid, and an outlet pump in Ålidhem also stopped. A redundant pump was connected there, but it has a lower capacity, Marcus Hedman, business manager at Umeå Energi, says.

UPDATE: 11:47
The district heating production at Rönnskär is in the process of being resumed.

– District heating production has significantly increased in Ursviken and Skelleftehamn, and some households have had their heating restored, says Mimmi Jonsson, communications manager at Skellefteå Kraft.

300-350 people are still affected by the disruption. 300 of them are expected to have their heating back within 1-2 hours.

To ensure that customers are not left without heat again, Skellefteå Kraft is taking extra measures.

– We are currently moving a boiler from Hedensbyn. The boiler will be in place by this evening.

The disruption in Burträsk is also being addressed.

– Some customers in Burträsk are without hot water but still have heating in their houses. The disruption is expected to be resolved within an hour.

Jonsson recommends that those who have alternative sources of heating should use them and emphasizes that Skellefteå Kraft is trying to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.

– I understand that people are worried. We are working as quickly as possible.

UPDATE: 11:20
The temperature continues to drop for Skellefteå Kraft's district heating customers in the east of the city. A resident of Skelleftehamn writes to Skellefteå Kraft on Facebook that it is still over ten degrees at home, but that could change.

"If you don't fix the heating until tonight, there is a risk that it will be below freezing inside and that water pipes will freeze, she says.

Maria Wallin lives in a house on Smältaregatan in Skelleftehamn that gets its heat and hot water from the district heating network.

- When I got up at 8 o'clock, it was almost 13 plus degrees in the house. It has just been 11.9 plus degrees, so it is still going down, she tells Norran.

She works from home on Tuesdays and is currently sitting in front of her computer wearing double thick socks, long thermals, sweatpants, and a sweater with a morning coat over it.

- Actually, I would probably need gloves as well. You get a little cold working from home, but it's also quite cozy, at least so far, she says.

According to the latest forecast from SMHI, the cold snap will last until the weekend.

Will you be able to cope with these temperatures for several days if the district heating is not fixed?

- Absolutely not: one day will be fine, but then I'm done with the cold. So far it feels quite nice as we have a stove and a fireplace. But it's typical that this is happening in such a cold week. If there is a crisis, I can go to my parents, they live here in Skelleftehamn and have geothermal heating, says Maria.

UPDATE: 10:20
Further inland, in Västanträsk, for example, the temperature dropped to -32.5c. 


Since yesterday evening, the district heating supply in Ursviken and Skelleftehamn has been interrupted. Now the district heating network in Burträsk is also affected.

According to Skellefteå Kraft, the disruption affects the supply of hot water and heating to residents within the district heating network in the Burträsk area.

Troubleshooting is underway, but there is no estimate of when the problem will be resolved.

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