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Thousands have power cut by storm

A storm knocked out power to thousands of people on Friday night, with the bulk of the outages falling in eastern Finland. Nearly 10,000 households were without electricity on Saturday afternoon.

Sähkökatkon korjaustöitä Janakkalassa.
A storm caused disruption to electricity networks in Finland on Friday and Saturday. Image: Timo Leponiemi / Yle

Winds gusting up to 30 metres per second downed trees and cut power lines in Finland on Friday night, leaving some 10,000 households left without power on Saturday morning.

Most of the power outages—around 4,300—were in areas served by Savon Voima. About 900 Pohjois-Karjala shako customers in North Karelia were also cut off, with the rest of the power cuts falling in Central Finland, South Ostrobothnia and south-west Finland.

At its height on Friday night, the weather had cut off power to some 7,000 customers. Electricity companies are warning that wet snow and continuing strong winds could cause new power outages on Saturday.

“The power cuts caused on our network by stormy winds have been fixed,” said Heini Kuusela-Opas of the Elenia power firm. “Now there’s a new problem. Heavy, wet snow is falling in places, and the snow could cause new blackouts. A lot depends on whether that will turn to rain over the course of the morning.”

The storm also caused havoc on the high seas, with winds up to 23 metres per second and waves up to ten metres high making conditions extremely challenging for shipping.

The Tallink Silja ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki was forced to slow down thanks to extremely strong sidewinds, with products in the duty-free shop literally flying off the shelves. Despite the conditions, the Coast Guard reported no extraordinary requests for assistance from maritime traffic in the region.

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