Estonia torn by a storm

Tallinnas Nõmme teel murdis tuul vanu puid.

PHOTO: Marti Ilustrumm

By yesterday, the several days long storm had done a lot of damage. At places, streets were flooded and power cut off by trees felled on wires. 

Elektrilevi data says they had 5,071 clients still without electricity at 10:30 am yesterday in various corners of the land, but 3,059 of these in the isle of Saaremaa. On the mainland, Pärnu County was worst off with power disruptions – 546 households affected. During the night, alert teams have managed to restore electricity in 1,000 households.

In Mooni Street, Tallinn, a tree fell on electricity lines yesterday, pulling the wires down with four posts.

The Mooni St section between Räägu St and Kuldnoka St was closed for traffic and residents were asked to stay inside.

At 6:30 pm yesterday, seawater level stood at 127 centimetres in Pärnu. According to Public Broadcasting (ERR), some 30 centimetres of water were flowing behind Ammende Villa and the streets roundabout were closed as police we not letting folks walk there.

As the evening fell, water begun to sharply rise in Pärnu. While at 7 pm seawater stood at mere 117 centimetres, at 9 pm it crossed the 150 cm barrier and kept on rising rapidly. The critical level is 160 centimetres.

In Rohuküla, last night the waters reached the port parking lot.

Cars were pulled out of the water by a tow truck while police was helping with contacting the owners.

These were cars of the Hiiumaa islanders – standing in the parking lot while owners were on the island. They use the vehicles to drive to work to Tallinn or other places on the mainland.

On the berths, electrical cabinets are switched off while only the vital electric circuits are kept in use.

At 6 pm, the streets of Haapsalu towards the sea were partly under water. At Fra Mare, the waters were nearing the buildings. To keep off the storm watchers, at Fra Mare the streets are closed down with ribbons and traffic signs.

At the port of St Petersburg, a group of tourists were stuck due to the storm, including people from Viljandi. By yesterday, they had been cradled for quite awhile on board of cruise ship Princess Anastasia without the slightest idea what was in store, wrote the Viljandi County paper Sakala. «Imprisoned!» said Benno Auspere, a Viljandi local on the vessel. «We know nothing, nobody is saying anything. The ship was supposed to sail last night and we ought to have been home all of us by noon today!»

Yesterday afternoon, rescuers went to seaside in Pirita and Viimsi, Tallinn to check the situation. The waves and the winds were strong while the water was not getting across the embankment as yet. Meanwhile, people were busy getting to the Merivälja seawall where the waters, not limited to splashing high, occasionally swept over. The rescuers were troubled to see parents shooting pictures of their small children in the winds and the wild waters all around. The rescuers asked the people to get off the seawall at once and expressed hopes the habit would end.

On a Tallink ship, a crew member was injured and hospitalised by ambulance for medical inspection as on stormy seas on Friday night windows broke at the front of the vessel.

At 11 pm Estonian time, Victoria I sailing from Tallinn to Stockholm had waves hit a radar antenna loose from the hull which damaged the two portholes. Opting not to risk, the captain turned around and sailed back to Tallinn. On 6th deck of the vessel, conference room floor had water damage from the rain and the waves. A little of the water made its way to 5th deck passenger area through apertures in the floor.