Climate-related risks, vulnerabilities, and impacts are increasing in cities, illustrated by precipitation-driven pluvial floods. Post-event analyses can aid in reducing urban flood risks, but knowledge gaps exist regarding how welfare services and premises are impacted and can be adapted. This study analyses an extreme precipitation-driven event generating extensive flooding in Gävle, Sweden, in 2021. The objective is to increase knowledge about how municipal welfare services are vulnerable to pluvial floods, and of appropriate actions towards improving the response capacity and building more resilient welfare premises and operations. The study shows that the Swedish weather warning system generally worked well, but the analysed property companies lacked strategies and equipment to evade flooding in their properties. Flood damages in 60 analysed buildings were generated by different causes, demonstrating the importance of contemplating the vulnerability of welfare buildings when conducting flood risk assessments. Although the flood event did not generate deaths or serious personal injuries, the study identified impacts on welfare service operations in both the short and long terms. The event increased learning on climate adaptation but did not trigger adaptive action. Identified keys for adaptation include prioritizing premises to protect, knowledge of flood protection equipment, insurance company requirements, and updated emergency plans.

  • Results show that the Swedish weather warning system generally worked well.

  • Short- and long-term impacts on welfare buildings and services are reported.

  • The 60 damaged buildings analysed were found flooded due to different causes.

  • The amount of damage was driven by the vulnerability of buildings rather than exposure.

  • The pluvial flood increased learning on adaptation but did not trigger adaptive action.

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