January 2005 saw the worst storm Sweden has had since 1921, if not earlier! County Kronoberg with Växjö as its capital is the worst hit area and in many places around the countryside (including our cottage 60 km south) it looks like a battlefield. Most of the forestry centres around the spruce which has a very shallow root system so they are lying like "mikado" sticks everywhere. The roads are cleared but as I type this in early February, the railway line from Gothenburg to Kalmar via Växjö is still not repaired and the Stockholm to Malmö line has run on single track past the county! The forestry has lost around two years worth of felling and many forest keepers are ruined and will receive government aid. Therefore, take care when walking in forests these days. It will take at least a year to clear it all as priority was given to areas with main roads and electrical lines. Deep into forests, there are still wobbly trees and will be for a long time. People in the countryside were without electiricty for weeks and many got lost as the countryside around their houses are completely changed with new topography looks as forest is gone. This picture is from the cathedral park in the city centre - not that badly hit compared to the spruce forests which has forced outdoor sports like orienteering and skiing to have to reroute their tracks completely.
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If you find yourself driving in the area around Vederslöv, south of Växjö or for that matter further to the south east in Jät and Tingsryd, watch out for wild boar which is spreading like wildfire in those areas and which you don't want to collide with as they are quite heavy! The road authorities have only just started to put up warning signs as this is a bit of a novelty (they haven't been around since the 18th century and are making a comeback).
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