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Strongest storm of the year could cut power and water in some regions

Residents of Finland were urged to prepare properly in time for the storm, which arrives on Wednesday evening.

Kovaa tuulta Itämerellä.
High winds and stormy seas are expected on Wednesday night. Image: Yle/ Stefan Paavola

Finland was bracing itself on Wednesday ahead of the arrival of what was expected to be the most powerful storm of the year.

According to forecasters trees could be felled, power lines cut and roofs could be in danger from the storm.

The storm is expected to generate winds of up to 25 metres per second on Wednesday, and to maintain that strength even as it moves inland.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute has issued several warnings for floods, high winds and wave height warnings across the country.

Charge up phones, find a camping stove

With a strong northerly wind, sodden ground and trees that still have leaves, power lines are at elevated risk of storm damage.

Thousands could see power supplies cut overnight.

"It's safe to assume that some homes will be left without electricity on Thursday, at least for a while," said Heikki Paananen of the Elenia power firm.

In sparsely-populated areas it makes sense to prepare for longer power cuts, according to Paananen, who compared the incoming storm to the Aapeli storm of January 2019.

Households in Finland are in any case encouraged to have enough supplies of food and drink to last for at least 72 hours, and Paananen said some people might need to use some of those emergency supplies.

"It would pay to charge up phones in advance, fill the car up with petrol and be ready to prepare food without electricity," said Paananen.

Water pressure could fluctuate if there is a power cut, so it may be sensible to store some drinking water in case there's a blackout.

People living in apartment blocks should be prepared to use the stairs rather than the lift, and those living in detached houses should check their roof is secure.

In central parts of the country, along with northern regions like north Ostrobothnia and Kainuu. More than 40 millimetres of rain is expected from Wednesday afternoon until Thursday morning.

In the Gulf of Finland waves of at least four metres in height are expected off Helsinki.

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