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Helsinki metro returning to normal, central station remains closed after flooding

Helsinki’s metro system is recovering from Friday’s flash flooding, but trains will not be stopping at one station in the city centre.

Pelastuslaitoksen palomies Helsingin Rautatieaseman metroasemalla.
Cleanup work continues at Helsinki Central Railway station after flash flooding on Friday. Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva

Public transport in Helsinki is running almost normally on Saturday after some 50 milimetres of rain fell in a single day on Friday, causing flash floods and severe disruption to metro services.

The metro station at the central railway station, however, remains closed on Saturday and as of Saturday morning metro operator HKL said it did not know when services would resume.

Services will pass through the station without stopping while engineers work to fix technical faults after floodwater was pumped out of the facility on Friday.

On Friday metro services were cancelled between Helsinki University and Ruoholahti stations, effectively cutting off the city centre from the underground network.

HKL advises passengers on Saturday to use buses or trams to reach Kamppi or Helsinki University stations, although both are around a 500 metre walk.

Friday's precipitation was exceptionally heavy, with 62.5 mm of rain falling over the course of the day.

That is the ninth highest figure on record at Kaisaniemi weather station, and the highest since 22 August 2011, according to meteorologist Mika Rantanen.

The metro network’s recovery is just in time for the Finnish football league Veikkausliiga’s ”metro derby” between HJK Helsinki and FC Honka, which will go ahead as planned at Tapiola, Espoo, at 1pm.

EDIT This story originally stated that more than a month's worth of rain fell in a single day. This is incorrect, as the average for August is 80mm and the rainfall on Friday 23 August was 62.5mm.

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