Västerbotten floods have peaked but Norrbotten forecast is bad

As water levels rise in Västerbotten, the risk of flooding increases. To prepare, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) is sending flood defence equipment to Skellefteå, according to SVT Västerbotten.

The worst is over in Västerbotten, says Länsstyrelsen  Västerbotten.

The worst is over in Västerbotten, says Länsstyrelsen Västerbotten.

Foto: Lars-Göran Norlin

Väder2024-05-15 10:21

UPDATE: 12:25

Christer Forsberg, a preparedness officer at Länsstyrelsen Västerbotten, reports on Friday that traffic hasn't been significantly impacted by the high water flows.

– While a few major roads in Vilhelmina and Ånäset have been affected it hasn't been so bad.

The flooded beach at Långviken.

Forsberg believes Västerbotten's water flows have likely peaked.

– It's important to remember that forecasts are estimates, not guarantees. However, based on SMHI's latest warnings, Norrbotten appears more likely to experience significant high water flows.

UPDATE: 14:05: 

Heavy rains have caused flooding, forcing Trafikverket to close several roads in Skellefteå.

  • Road 729 at Bäckliden: This road was partially closed on Tuesday but has been completely shut down since Wednesday afternoon.
  • Road 820 at Granbodarna: This road is currently experiencing a partial closure due to flooding.

– This year, the flooding issues are stemming from smaller and medium-sized waterways causing problems, explains Ingemar Nyström, maintenance project manager for southern Skellefteå at Trafikverket.

Additionally, a road leading into the town of Ånäset has been closed due to flooding. This road passes underneath the E4 highway.

UPDATE: 11:30: 

New photo added of Bureå Coop store in danger of being flooded.

Tobias Salomonsson, store manager of Coop in Bureå, has seen the Bure River creeping closer to the store over the past few days.

UPDATE 10:23: 

The equipment includes sandbags and aluminium barriers designed to hold back floodwaters.

– It's good to have these supplies close by in case the situation worsens, Christer Björkman of the Umeå Region Fire Department told SVT Västerbotten.

MSB is dispatching the equipment in response to requests from several municipalities and emergency services in Västerbotten, reports SVT Västerbotten. This includes a sandbag filling machine from MSB's warehouse in Kristinehamn.

Strandpromenaden is flooded in parts. Joggers are detouring around the bushes.

The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency maintains warehouses across the country, storing materials that can be rapidly deployed to areas facing flood risks. MSB personnel are also available to assist if the situation escalates.

While not expecting the equipment to be used, Christer Björkman told SVT Västerbotten that he welcomes the precautionary measure. 

– High water levels are common, he said.

– The bigger concern would be warnings for major rivers overflowing.

Daniel Haarala, unit manager at the Skellefteå emergency services, says that barriers or sandbags will not be deployed if only individual households are affected by high water flows.

– Once a barrier or sandbags are deployed, they cannot be used elsewhere until the water has receded. Therefore, barriers will only be deployed if high water flows threaten something of societal importance or if a large number of people are affected.