Flood worries in Finland as river levels rise

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A view of the floods on Saturday, April 21st. (Elina Niemistö/YLE)
The spring flood situation in Southern Ostrobothnia appears to be easing off after flood levels were broken Saturday, according to hydrologist Bertel Vehviläinen from the Finnish Environmental Institute.

The Kyrö river rose past flood levels yesterday, with flowing water cutting off national road 3 and five smaller roads around Seinäjoki, still closed. The water in the nearby Lapua river shows no signs of serious flooding as yet, but as long as levels in Kuortane lake continue to rise the risk remains high.

“Next week we’ll be faced again with this possibility, that the Lapua river may need to be drained into flood embankments like we did on Saturday,” Vehviläinen says.

Flood levels in the region now appear to have reached their maximum height, with the excess flow having been directed into fields and embankments for absorption. In Northern Ostrobothnia the floods are rising faster, and local emergency services have elicited the help of the military as a precaution, in case some of the ice dams in the riverland should need to be detonated.

The rivers of Kalajoki, Pyhäjoki and Siikajoki have continued to flood throughout the weekend, stranding vehicles and even buildings.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Feds announce funding to tackle climate change in Inuit region of Atlantic Canada, Radio Canada International

Finland: After mild weather, Finland braces for three-week chill, YLE News

Norway: As Arctic weather dramatically changes, world meteorologists take on more joint forecasting, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Record heatwave in the Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden’s glaciers are melting away, Radio Sweden

United States: Alaska’s North Slope fortifies against highway flooding, Radio Canada International

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