Creamfields dance music festival ends a day early after 'heavy flooding'

 

The Creamfields dance music festival became a casualty of the weather today, ending a day early after torrential rain caused "heavy flooding".

The festival site at Daresbury in Cheshire has been closed and revellers told to leave the site after the heavy downpours over the last 24 hours flooded the area, police said.

Widespread torrential downpours battered the UK's shores yesterday with up to an inch of rain falling in some places.

Deadmau5, Tiesto and Groove Armada are among the acts that had been due to play on the festival's last day.

But organisers warned people via Twitter and Facebook this morning that the site was closed and people with day tickets should not travel.

In a message posted on http://www.creamfields.com they said: "Following heavy rainfall over the last 24 hours, significant and heavy flooding is affecting the Creamfields arena near Warrington.

"No serious casualties have been reported and Cheshire Police and partner agencies are supporting event organisers in ensuring the safety and welfare of festival goers during this time.

"All customers wishing to come to the festival today are advised that the event entrances are now closed.

"No entry to the festival is permitted from this point for all ticket types and ticket-holders, further updates will follow."

Cheshire Police said the site had seen "significant and heavy flooding" that was also affecting nearby roads.

They said extra public transport was being laid on to help festival-goers leave the site.

The wet weather caused transport problems across the country and prompted the Environment Agency (EA) to issue a number of flood warnings and alerts.

Britain should get some respite from the dismal Bank Holiday weather today before further heavy rain and strong winds bring a disappointing end to the long weekend.

More rain is expected in England later, but forecasters said the showers should not be as widespread or heavy as yesterday's powerful deluges.

Andy Ratcliffe, forecaster at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "It will be a dry day for most of the UK today but there will still be the chance of a few showers across northern England, the Midlands and East Anglia throughout the morning.

"You could catch the odd heavy one but they will not be as widespread or as bad as yesterday."

One flood warning - the second highest alert which means flooding is expected - is in place at Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire after heavy showers caused rising river levels yesterday.

Fourteen flood alerts - the lowest level of warning which means flooding is possible - have also been issued. Eight are in place in the North West, four in the North East, and one in both the Midlands and the South West.

Heavy rain is expected to return overnight with winds of up to 50mph bringing a gusty end to the Bank Holiday weekend.

Mr Ratcliffe said: "The winds will strengthen overnight and bring rain in western areas of the UK which will spread eastwards during Monday.

"The showers will become heavy and persistent and exposed western areas will be hit with gusts of 50mph.

"People in the South East should escape much of the bad weather however."

In Kew Gardens, west London, 18mm of rain fell in just one hour yesterday afternoon with other deluges causing travel misery.

Train delays were reported after lightning damaged signalling equipment in Solihull, West Midlands, Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire, and at London's Cannon Street station.

Flooding also caused trains to be suspended between Fulwell and Shepperton, in Middlesex.

Transport for London said flooding forced the closures of Covent Garden and Lambeth North stations.

Gloucester Road station was also closed on the Piccadilly line while Aldgate station was shut anti-clockwise on the Circle line.

Shoppers in Cambridge reported that a number of shops in the city centre had to close temporarily due to flooding.

The Port of Dover said the weather also brought gale force winds on the Channel while Sunderland's Premier League clash against Reading in Wearside was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

Temperatures are not expected to reach much higher than 20C (68F) over the weekend - a stark contrast with last weekend when the thermometer touched 32C (90F).

Creamfields' organisers officially cancelled the festival this afternoon on health and safety grounds.

"It is with regret that today's event at Creamfields has been cancelled due to significant rainfall overnight and on-site flooding," a statement on the festival website said.

"Every effort has been made to continue with the event and following an evaluation of the site the decision has been made by the promoters, Cheshire Police and multi-agencies on site to close today's final day in the interest of health and safety.

"The heavy downpour overnight has created issues across the site leaving many areas unusable. It is our primary concern at this time that assistance is given to those on-site and ensure those campers exit safely."

PA

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