River lowered for revellers

Thursday 25th Aug 2011 by theWeather Cub

As the festival season gets into full swing, the traditional deluge that leads to images of mud splattered revellers sliding across boggy fields is arriving right on cue. With the Reading festival due to take place this weekend, the Met Office is predicting heavy rain for Friday, the first day of the festival. However in a move normally associated with the absolute rulers of the dim and distant past, authorities are taking action to ensure the festivities are not swamped by the expected deluge. They are lowering the nearby river.

Part of the River Thames close to the Reading Festival site has been lowered by 15cm to help water drain from the campsite. The Environment Agency, which controls the river levels, said lowering it gave more leeway to combat any flooding. The agency can control the levels of the river by manipulating a series of weirs. They have reduced water levels near the festival by opening weirs downstream of the site to allow more water through. Hail showers are also predicted on Saturday, although the weather should brighten by Sunday. The Environment Agency said opening the weirs lowers the risk of any flooding following heavy rainfall that can have an impact on river levels. The agency's Sam Elfer said the campsite ground could be “boggy” after rain. It is the removal of this water that the action taken has been designed to help. Mr. Elfer went on saying, “The festival organisers have pumps which they can use to drain the land.”

The Reading Festival, which has sold out this year, will take place in Little John's Farm on Richfield Avenue from Friday to Sunday. Just in case you are interested, this year the festival headliners are Muse, My Chemical Romance, The Strokes and Pulp.