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22 June 2012

Heavy Rain And Flooding Cause Chaos At Isle Of Wight Festival

Flooding is causing chaos for revellers trying to get to the Isle of Wight Festival.

Heavy rain led to access problems at Seaclose Park, Newport, and traffic gridlock meant people were forced to sleep in their cars overnight.

Police escorted some motorists stuck in traffic to Newport Football Club where shelter and refreshments were provided.

About 55,000 people are expected at the three-day event on the island, which has a population of just 140,000.

The problems come as various parts of the UK are braced for heavy rain and flooding. The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for various parts of England and Scotland and a more severe amber warning for the North West of England.

Problems began on Thursday morning when the main car park had become waterlogged from heavy rain overnight.

Organisers were forced to open extra fields and bring in metal tracks so vehicles could be directed to overflow car parks. Many had to be towed because of the mud.

Festival organiser John Giddings said: "We did everything within our power but as soon as that 24 hour rain came down it became horrendous.

"I'm really very sorry, I can only apologise, I know there's a couple of hundred still out there.

"It's going to be a great weekend, don't give up on us."

Festival-goers have taken to social networking sites to complain about their treatment and a lack of communication from festival organisers. Some said they had given up and gone home.

(H)





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