Saaremaa Municipality to take water, toilets to villages with no power

Snow in Saaremaa on Saturday. December 10, 2022.
Snow in Saaremaa on Saturday. December 10, 2022. Source: Margus Muld/ERR

Apartment buildings have been left without water and sewerage following blackouts caused by heavy snowfall in Saaremaa. The municipality government has plans to take a water tank and portable toilets to the village of Sõmeru, Municipality Mayor Mikk Tuisk said.

"We are having problems with water and sewerage, as well as heating. In other words, we have lost the ability to ensure water and sewerage access in some places. There are problems in Kärla and Sõmera. Luckily, we sorted things out in Pärsama that also hosts a nursing home. But yes, we are having problems," Tuisk told ERR Sunday. "We are taking water and portable toilets to the first places, Sõmera, and it's possible we'll have to take them elsewhere too," he added.

Over 4,800 households were without power on the islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa around noon on Sunday. Blackouts were caused by heavy snowfall that hit western Estonia Saturday morning.

Tuisk said on Sunday that distribution system operator Elektrilevi has promised to restore power to most households by Sunday evening. "The conditions are extreme, and the crews tell me that as soon as they sort out one problem, they can already see the next tree about to fall on power lines. There are serious problems," the municipality head said.

He also said that Saaremaa will keep schools open. "However, no serious study work will take place, meaning that students who can stay home should do just that. We know that not everyone can stay home, which is why we are trying to make sure children have someplace to go," Tuisk said, adding that which parts of the island will have power will become clear Monday.

Tuisk said that the island's roads had been mostly cleared of heavy snow by Sunday afternoon.

ISP Telia has managed to restore its communications network on the island, while Elisa and Tele2 are still having problems, Tuisk added.


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Editor: Mait Ots, Marcus Turovski

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