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Overnight storm batters Sweden

As of Saturday, 50,000 homes had no power
February 23, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
An overnight storm battered southern Sweden with hurricane-strength winds, knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes and causing flooding in the coastal city of Goteborg, officials said Saturday. More than 80,000 households had power outages after the storm, which also caused major traffic disruptions.

No serious injuries were reported. One person was hospitalized with minor injuries after being trapped between falling trees, Swedish news agency TT reported.

Parts of a roof were torn off a house on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland, and a passenger bus was pushed onto its side in a water-filled ditch on Sweden's west coast.

Thomas Andersson, a spokesman for The Swedish Road Administration, said downed trees blocked more than 40 roads overnight. Those roads later reopened.

At least six train lines in the southern part of the country were closed as rail companies worked to clear fallen trees from the tracks.

Sten Laurin, a spokesman at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, said winds off the country's southern coast reached speeds of 87 mph, though the storm later eased.

Winds of about 75 mph are classified as hurricane-strength.

Inland, gusts of up to 71 mph were recorded in some places, Laurin said.

On Saturday morning, more than 50,000 Swedish households still were without power.


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