Risk för höga flöden
According to SMHI, there is a risk of severe spring flood that can lead to flooding. It is important to be prepared, especially for you who are living in a place that may be affected.
What is high flow?
”High flow” (”Höga flöden” in Swedish) is the common term when speaking about the annual spring flood, which can lead to flooding. SMHI (the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute) has different warning definitions for high flows – from Risk for high flow to Class 3: Extremely high flow.
More information about SMHI’s warning system can be found on their website:
What does flooding mean?
Flooding means that water covers areas outside the normal boundary of a lake, stream or sea. Heavy rain can also cause flooding when pipes cannot handle the increased flow, for example in basements.
If you suspect a flood is underway, it is important that you follow the weather forecasts from SMHI and local news stations. They inform the public about weather warnings.
113 13 is Sweden’s crisis information number, and you can call it to get information about if a high flow or flood has resulted in a serious crisis for the community.
Should water supply be affected, we will post information about it on www.overtornea.se
If the power supply is affected, you should contact your energy provider to find the latest information.
Övertorneå kommun may send out text messages to affected areas. To get these text messages, you need to be registered on an address in the affected area. If you have a work phone or are registered in a different city, you can sign up to receive the text messages here: www.overtornea.se/sms
How to protect yourself from flooding
Take the habit of noting the normal water level. It is important that you know how the water levels are during normal conditions so that you can see when the water starts to rise.
Find out if your area has been flooded in the past and what happened then. Previous experiences can help you prepare for future floods.
If you might need to pump, rent or buy pumps well in advance of the flood. Practice handling them in advance.
Have a look at MSB’s (Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency) video about how you can protect your house:
Build temporary barriers
Temporary barriers can stop a minor flood. The easiest way is to build an embankment of sand or soil and cover it with plastic. You can also use sandbags.
Plan ahead where the best place for your temporary barrier is, so it protects what you think is most important.
The embankment will put pressure on the ground. Avoid building it where it can cause a landslide. Remove it as soon as the danger or the flood itself is gone.
Please note! Check with your county administrative board (Länsstyrelsen) to make sure the measures are not subject to permits or reporting according to the Environmental Code.
Review the terms of your insurance
The terms and conditions for home insurance may vary. Find out what applies to you if you are affected by flooding. Document damages and save receipts so that you do not have to bear an unnecessarily large part of the cost of the flood yourself.
It is important for you who have moved to Sweden to know that insurance companies work differently in every country. Contact your insurance company if you are unsure about how to interpret your insurance policy.
If flooding occurs
- Be careful.
- Keep an extra watchful eye on the children during the flood. New water-filled pits and cavities to fall into may occur.
- Electricity, gas and water can be a dangerous combination. If there is a risk of short-circuiting, switch off the power and gas. However, make sure any bilge pumps still work.
- To prevent wastewater from entering your house, it may be a good idea to plug toilets and drains. This can be done with a wooden plug or an expansion plug with a rubber seal.
- Move valuable property to flood-proof places.
- Ensure good hygiene. Make sure children and animals do not drink or bathe in floodwater. Wash thoroughly and clean everything that hascome into contact withflooded water.
You can facilitate and prepare for any evacuation by packing a bag with the essentials, for example:
- warm clothing
- something to eat and drink
- ID documents
- necessary equipment for young children
- flashlights, radio receivers and batteries
- copies of important documents such as home insurance and similar
- bank papers
When bilge pumping the basement, it is important to ensure a balance between the pressure on the inside and outside. If the ground outside the house is saturated with water, the basement floor is subjected to a very large pressure if the basement is emptied of water. There are examples of floors breaking and the entire basement filled with soil.
Be careful when bilge pumping if you do not know for sure that the floor is designed to withstand the water pressure.
SMHI – map with the latest weather warnings and a guide to the warning classification:
Krisinformation.se – Emergency information from swedish authorities: https://www.krisinformation.se/en/
SMHI, hydrology theme page with information on spring flood, ice discharge, etc. : https://www.smhi.se/tema/hydrologi-sjoar-och-vattendrag
MSB, reinforcement resources: https://www.msb.se/sv/amnesomraden/msbs-arbete-vid-olyckor-kriser-och-krig/forstarkningsresurser/oversvamning/