Simon Lindgren, branch manager at Johanssons plumbers in Skellefteå, says they have an unprecedented number of assignments right now, due to water damage and leaks of various kinds.
– In a typical winter, we deal with maybe 15 to 20 frozen pipes. Since last week, we have had more than 100 such cases, he says.
Many callers have experienced leaks in places where they may not have even realized were frozen. All types of properties have been affected - both private residences and and businesses have needed help.
– For example, there have been problems with old expansion pipes, water outlets, garages and the like. Places you might not be in every day.
How long it takes to repair a leak varies.
– It depends on the type of damage. Sometimes it takes an hour, and sometimes it can take a whole day, says Lindgren.
Eight people work at Johanssons. They have a priority list and try to fix the most urgent leaks first.
– Now it looks like it will soon be 25 degrees below zero again. Then new problems may arise.
What should one do to avoid having problems?
– Keep all the rooms warm, and don't skimp on keeping the garage warm, for example, says Lindgren.
The cold of last week has been replaced by a high pressure system from the Atlantic. But soon it will get colder again, says SMHI meteorologist Max Schildt.
– From Thursday it will be below freezing again. This is because a low pressure system is moving down from Tornedalen and colder air is coming down with it.
– There will also be a snowfall area moving through on Friday.
Schildt describes the air masses as "always in motion".
– Last week we had a cold air mass, but then it was replaced by a warm one. It's a kind of dance that can be more or less intense. The last few days this dance has been quite intense; maybe like a tango.
The weather change in the Norran area may seem extreme. But the record for the fastest temperature rise was set in 1914 in Särna, Dalarna, says Max Schildt.
– The temperature went from 39.5 degrees below zero one evening to 1.5 degrees above zero the next day.
Ferenc Sari, head of the emergency department at Skellefteå hospital, advises people in Skellefteå to "walk like a penguin" on slippery surfaces, by taking short steps and leaning their body weight forward.
Daniel Marklund, a communicator for Region Västerbotten, told Norran.
– It might also be a good idea to use spikes or non-slip soles on your shoes. If it's very slippery where you are, you should think about whether you really need to go out at all. he says.
The emergency department in Skellefteå has not yet seen any increased number of patients due to sllipping injuries.
Emergency services' urgent advice: "Think before you walk or drive"
– It is extremely slippery on the roads, says Daniel Andersson, fire chief at the emergency services in Skellefteå.
– We urge everyone to take it easy on the roads today. It's good if people take a little more time. If you're walking or cycling to work, be careful and think twice, he says.
Emergency services are "at the same high level of readiness as usual," he says. They are not increasing staff or resources.
– However, we are of course aware of how we drive our own vehicles when responding to alarms. We are also being cautious.
Over the past few days, the energency services have been busy responding to thaw-related alarms, as temperatures in the region jumped 40 degrees.
– Water leaks, flood water sleeping into buildings from the outside and things like that. We had a lot of that. We expect this to continue for a few more days, says Andersson.
Due to repair work on the municipal water pipe, water will be turned off for a number of properties on Bondevägen, today Monday January 8, writes Skellefteå municipality on its website.
"Collect necessary water. Make sure all water taps are closed. Water is available for collection at the turnaround zone on Bondevägen," writes the municipality.
Planned start: 2024-01-08
Expected completion: 2024-01-09
Jörn Due to repair work on the municipal water pipe, the water will be turned off on Magasingatan in Jörn today, January 8, writes Skellefteå municipality on its website.
"Collect necessary water and make sure all water taps are closed," writes the municipality.
Water is available for collection at Magasingatan 6.
Planned start: 2024-01-08
Expected completion: 2024-01-08
Skellefteå municipality writes on its website that a suspected water leak has occurred in Svanfors.
However, the leak has not yet been located, so the municipality is asking for the public's help in locating the leak.
Contact the municipality's customer service on 0910-73 50 00 (you can also reach the emergency service on evenings and weekends) if you see a suspected accumulation of water, a house with frost on the windows, or if your water meter is running unusually fast.
In the early hours of Monday night, several water leaks occurred in Skellefteå. Among others, two schools, Baldergymnasiet and Lövångersskolan, were affected.
In the dining hall of Baldergymnasiet, water leaked over an area of 200-300 square meters.
During the day, the humidity will be measured and a dehumidifier will be installed. Tomorrow, when the school year begins, the canteen is expected to be open as usual.
– Today, Monday, the adapted high school has recreational activities at the school, which means that some students are affected by the water leak. They will have to sit and eat elsewhere in the school. The school kitchen is intact, so there are no problems with cooking, says Måna Stenberg, administrative manager at Baldergymnasiet.
– We hope to get more information during the day, and depending on what comes out, different measures may be necessary.
As far as Lövångersskolan is concerned, the water damage occurred in the sports hall at Folkets hus, where the students have physical education classes.
– It is a water pipe that has frozen.We are there now and inspecting. It is not possible to take a shower at the moment, but we will see how long the problems last, says Johannes Lundgren, property manager.
The same night, there was also a new report of water damage at Laboratorgränd, at a student dormitory near the university. The cause is unclear, but the leak is on an upper floor, and the campus emergency team has gone out with a water vacuum.