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Floods cut off roads in Ostrobothnia

National road 3 was closed from traffic in Jalasjärvi in Southern Ostrobothnia on Saturday.

Kyrönjoen tulvaa Mustasaaressa 21.4.2018
The Kyrö river is flooding. Image: Anna Wikman/Yle

The water level of the Kyrö river in Ostrobothnia rose past flood limits on Saturday afternoon. Flood hatches have been opened and excess water is being siphoned toward nearby embankments to lower the levels.

Finnish national road 3 was closed in Jalasjärvi when the flood waters reached the highway asphalt. Police on Saturday directed traffic towards alternate routes.

The operation to curb the swelling tides is a large undertaking.

"It's hard to say how long we'll need to siphon the levels and how much that will be," says communications manager Rautio from the ELY development centre in Southern Ostrobothnia. "The embankments will be filled at least partially with the excess flow."

Utilising the embankment zones also led to the closing of smaller roads in the region. Water was to be directed into reservoirs along the Kyrö river.

The last time the flood embankments were used was five years ago, when the floods of 2013 covered some 3,000 hectares with some 25 million square meters of water.

Levels rising

Rautio says that the flow causing the floods between Ilmajoki and Seinäjoki is still gaining strength.

The level of the Kyrö river rose by some 30 cm on Saturday. Nighttime rainfall and warming weather have expedited the flooding, with snow still melting in the northern reaches of the river.

The situation is not at its worst, says Rautio, as cool and drier conditions may not aggravate the flood. Water levels threaten domestic housing in the area, but flood gates have not been used elsewhere as yet.

Emergency services have begun preparing houses in Kalajoki and Pyhäjoki in case of water damage.

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