Autumn storm Eino made landfall in Finland in the early hours of Sunday morning and wasted no time heading further inland. The storm left in its wake a trail of downed power lines that left nearly 80,000 customers of power company companies Elenia and Fortum without electricity.
The worst hit areas were the Häme and Tampere regions as well as central Finland. More than 41,000 homes on the Elenia grid were left without power in Häme and Tampere each, while the count in central Finland was 36,000.
In Ostrobothnia meanwhile, more than 16,000 Fortum and Elenia customers were left in the dark, while in Satakunta, about 4,000 homes suffered outages.
Southern Finland to brace for power outages
Elenia communications chief Heini Kuusela-Opas described the power cuts in the wake of the storm as extensive.
“The situation changed rapidly as trees began to fall on power lines. New fault reports were coming in continuously,” she added.
The storm covered a route that was more extensive than originally expected in southern Finland, Kuusela-Opas noted. The Elenia official said she expected the storm to continue for several hours.
“During Sunday southern Finland will no doubt suffer from widespread power outages that may last a long time,” she predicted.
By mid-morning Sunday, Savon voima, a power company serving households in eastern Finland also reported that 40,000 of its customers had also lost their electricity supplies as a result of Eino's high winds. In southern Savo, energy provider Suur-Savon sähkö counted 57,000 households cut off the grid.
Rail disruptions in northwest Finland
Meanwhile, express intercity rail services between Seinäjoki and Ylivieska in northwest Finland were suspended due to downed trees on rail tracks.
Services between Vaasa and Seinäjoki also came to standstill, and passengers were being taken to their destinations by bus, said state rail services provider VR.
Customers looking to travel between Suonenjoki and Pieksämäki also experienced disrupted rail services Sunday morning.
VR is asking commuters to prepare for delays, although they will be provided with supplementary bus services in areas with damaged rails.
Mobile and broadband internet services also affected
The electricity blackouts also affected services by mobile phone and broadband internet providers. Teleoperator DNA reported mobile service disruptions across Finland, with the exception of Lapland. The worst affected areas were southern and central Finland as well as Kainuu and northern Ostrobothnia.
Elisa customers experienced services disruptions in Ostrobothnia, central Finland and the Häme and Tampere regions.
Meanwhile Sonera customers reported weak mobile phone reception in central, western and southern Finland due to storm winds.