“The situation is still serious,” Hugo Rudebeck from national weather agency SMHI told TT.
The strong spring flood has led SMHI to issue the most serious red weather warning for flooding in the lower part of the Torneälven, although, according to Rudebeck, there were signs during Sunday night and early on Monday morning that flooding upstream of Haparanda is lessening.
“We need some more measurements, but it doesn’t look like it’s rising any more,” he said. “However, it’s still very high, so even if it doesn’t rise any more, the situation is still serious. The warning will still be in place.”
Further north in Övertorneå, water levels have dropped by around 10 centimetres during the night, according to Roland Mäki from the rescue services.
“Now it’s going in the right direction, it’s nice to see some positive numbers,” he said.
Mäki was unsure as to the number of people affected by the floods in Övertorneå, or the extent of the damage in the area.
“People are used to the spring floods arriving, but they were unusually strong this year. I’ve never experienced this much water,” he said.
He added that although some people have contacted Sweden’s emergency services on 112, there are likely to be many others who have tried to fix issues themselves.
“I don’t dare to guess how many people have had flooding in their summer houses,” he said. “Insurance companies will be inundated with calls from people who have had their properties damaged.”
An outdoor swimming pool in the area made of concrete was lifted up by water pressure, Mäki said, so it’s likely that it will be out of action this summer.
“We’ll have to hope that the water level drops quickly so all the closed roads can be opened and damage can be inspected,” he added.
The head of rescue services in Haparanda, Fredrik Wuopio, agreed that it appeared the floods had peaked or would do soon.
“The situation is still critical with really high water levels, but I think we may have reached the peak or we will today. That doesn’t mean that the danger is over, a lot can still happen.”