Rescue unit works to clear a fallen tree over a road in Miehikkälä, southeastern Finland
© Noora-Liia Rautio
Rescue unit works to clear a fallen tree over a road in Miehikkälä, southeastern Finland.
Almost 60,000 households were left without electricity Wednesday morning after summer storm Päivö brought down power lines across various parts of Finland overnight.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute's (FMI) meteorologist Helena Laakso said that while the storm itself is over, some regions are still due for more rain or thunderstorms which could be severe in some areas.

FMI tweeted around midnight on Tuesday that Päivö's strong winds had shifted from Upper Savonia and Upper Karelia towards eastern Kainuu. The force of the gusts were described as dangerously strong and residents were encouraged to stay indoors until the storm passed.

It could take a few days to restore electricity to households in areas stretching from southern Savo to Kainuu, according to authorities.

The power cuts could also affect the functionality of mobile networks, including communications to emergency services, according to northern Karelia's rescue unit, which advised residents to head to local fire departments if emergency services calls cannot be made.

The summer storm tore across southern Finland, first eastward then took to the north on Tuesday.


"Terrible waves"

Mirja Kähkönen, who's spending the summer on the shores of Lake Pielinen in Lieksa, North Karelia said she went outside Wednesday morning to check the storm's aftermath.

"Everything rattled in the night's wind. There were terrible waves on the lake and the water was grey. A tree fell on a shed in the yard, and it's still windy," Kähkönen said.

Trees across the region were torn down by the stormy gusts, falling on houses, cars and power lines. Northern Karelia rescue services received about 250 calls by Wednesday morning, while the emergency unit in southern Savo were called about 200 times overnight.

Power outages

At around 6am Wednesday, some 26,000 households served by electricity provider Savon Voima were left without power. While repair of the power grid is under way, those efforts will likely be hampered by an expected thunderstorm in the afternoon, which could slow progress on the repair work.

As of around 9am on Wednesday there were about 13,700 households in the northern Karelia area without power. The municipalities and towns hardest-hit by power outages include Lieksa, Nurmes, Juuka, Polvijärvi, Tohmajärvi, Kitee, Liperi and Valtimo.

Meanwhile in southern Savo 4,100 households served by Järvi-Suomen Energia were without electricity on Wednesday morning. In Kainuu, some 6,000 homes suffered power outages as well.

Thunderstorms on Wednesday

A low pressure system is expected to move over Lapland during the day on Wednesday, and heavy rains are expected in northern areas.

In the aftermath of Päivö, severe thunderstorms are expected in southern Finland and while it won't be as windy as during the storm, gusts exceeding 15 m/s could cause further damage during Wednesday.

The storm has also caused train delays, according to Finnish rail company VR. As of Wednesday morning the firm announced delays on some routes between Helsinki and Oulu, Kajaani and Helsinki, Karjaa and Helsinki as well as the local train line between Nurmes and Joensuu. The company advises travellers to check timetable changes on its website.

Sources Yle, STT, FMI