28 December 2011
Extreme Weather in Finland on Tuesday, 27 December, 2011 at 16:37 (04:37 PM) UTC.
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A record number of households had to spend the night without electricity in the aftermath of Monday's powerful storm. Up to 180,000 thousand people were suffering power cuts on Tuesday afternoon, as new storm winds caused more damage. Energy companies Fortum and Vattenfall say that repairs will likely last for days, especially when it comes to sparsely populated areas. “We are only beginning to understand the magnitude of this situation and the damage that the storm has caused to our network,” said Karoliina Lehmusvirta, Manager for Communications in Fortum’s Electricity Distribution unit. She noted that the storm hit the network unusually hard. While Fortum cleared trees downed by Monday's storm off power lines, more trees were taking their place, as strong winds continued to rage on Tuesday. “It is very likely that some of our customers won’t get electricity back for some days—and it may even be weeks for some. It is partly because our network has been destroyed so completely that that we need to build some parts of it up and get it running again," Lehmusvirta explained. As the power companies struggled to repair damages of Monday's storm, new storm winds caused more power cuts on Tuesday, especially in northern Ostrobothnia, central Finland and northern Savo. In addition to Fortum and Vattenfall, a number of smaller energy companies have reported power cuts. They advise people to stay clear of downed power lines as they may still be live and pose a danger of fatal electric shock. Under no circumstances should these lines be touched.