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Flash floods snarl traffic in Sweden, Denmark

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August 31, 2014 10:48 AM EST | AP


HELSINKI (AP) — Heavy rains and flash floods have snarled road and rail traffic in Sweden and Denmark, with divers called to rescue people in submerged vehicles.

Overnight rains which spread into Sunday forced the evacuation of residents from waterlogged homes in some areas.

Buses in the Swedish city of Malmo came to halt after vehicles broke down on flooded roads. Divers and rescue workers helped passengers trapped in submerged cars and buses, in one case breaking the window of a bus and dragging people out on an extended ladder.

In the Danish capital, rescue workers assisted the driver of a car engulfed in water.

Kristian Naested from the Copenhagen's fire department said: "We managed to save him at the very last moment."

Steen Rasmussen, chief forecaster at Denmark's Meteorological Institute said the heaviest rain — 120 millimeters (4.7 inches) in about three hours — engulfed parts of the city during the night.

"That was very heavy rain but now it will slowly lessen with occasional showers, and not so heavy," Rasmmussen said.

Officials advised people to stay indoors through Sunday.