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Page last updated at 12:49 GMT, Monday, 13 September 2010 13:49 UK
Wild Weather: Luton Carnival cancelled after flooding
Flooding on New Bedford Road
New Bedford Road, where the carnival floats were due to gather

The summer of 2007 was one of the wettest on record with widespread flooding across the country.

Bedfordshire was hit by torrential rain over the late-Spring bank holiday weekend, May 26 and 28.

Unfortunately, this coincided exactly with the county's leading outdoor event, Luton International Carnival.

Persistent rain caused flooding on New Bedford Road where the carnival floats were due to gather.

It also made Wardown Park, where one of the carnival stages was due to be located, potentially unsafe.

Officials were faced with no alternative but to cancel the carnival.

Wettest day ever

The deluge began late on Saturday night, and continued without a break until the afternoon of Bank Holiday Monday, a period of 36 hours non-stop rain.

At the recording station in Luton, close to the Stockingstone Road roundabout on the A6, 99.5mm of rain fell during the downpour, of which 87.1mm fell on Sunday alone, making this the wettest individual day ever recorded in the town, and the wettest day anywhere in Bedfordshire since 1992.

The rain was heaviest during Sunday afternoon when 45mm fell in less than three hours.

Floodwaters began to appear in Luton town centre and on all the main routes out of the town on Sunday afternoon, and by Monday morning many of them were impassable, and several south Bedfordshire villages were cut off.

The cancellation of the Luton Carnival became a formality as most of Wardown Park, the destination of the carnival procession, lay under water up to two metres deep.

Flooding in Wardown Park
The flooding made Wardown Park potentially unsafe

Over 2000 people were due to take part in the carnival parade and in excess of 100,000 people had been expected to attend.

Safety risk

Kevin Crompton, the then Chief Executive at Luton Borough Council said: "The decision was not taken lightly and we appreciate that a lot of people were very disappointed that the carnival did not go ahead. But with areas of Wardown Park and New Bedford Road being impassable due to flooding, and the prospect of continued bad weather it was clear that there were risks to the safety and welfare of the participants, performers and potentially the public.

"In such circumstances we had no choice but to cancel the event."

Rain wasn't the only problem. On the Monday a strong north wind swept across the three counties, and fallen trees blocked several roads, while the temperature climbed no higher than 7°C making this the coldest late-Spring bank holiday since 1967.

Hottest dayHottest Day 36.7Luton on 10th August 2003
Coldest dayColdest Day -21.6Grendon Underwood on 14th January 1982
Wettest dayWettest Day 106mm Riseley on 22nd Sept 1992
Windiest dayWindiest Day 93mph Cardington on 16th March 1947

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