Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by the deluge of rain that has caused flooding and widespread disruption across the north of England.
The high volume of rain and flood water has significantly affected our waterways in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester. Our engineers are assessing the damage caused and we’ll be continuing to liaise with the Environment Agency, local councils and the emergency services over the coming days as we seek to assess, repair and re-open our waterways.
Flood water has caused a small breach to the bank of the River Aire at Knostrop in Leeds. In addition, half a dozen boats have broken loose from their moorings and become stranded on the by-weir at Fishponds. They are likely to be removed by a floating crane tomorrow (Monday).
The photo shows another failed waterway wall at Park Nook on the Calder & Hebble Navigation; the extent of the flooding is shown by the boat in the picture. The waters from the river Calder has overflowed into the canal and eroded the towpaths and part of the embankment as it receded. The tarmac towpath has been ripped up. We’re speaking to Powergen about exposed electricity cables here and elsewhere on the navigation.
On the Rochdale Canal, excess water has eroded part of the embankment causing a small breach midway between Lock 16 and 17, with water flowing into the adjacent River Calder. There is also a small landslip upstream of Lock 16.
There are substantial lengths of towpath along the Rochdale Canal that have been washed out and in need of repair. We expect significant volumes of material to have entered the channel that will need dredging. The focus for the waterway team tomorrow and Tuesday is making the paths safe. In addition, there are a couple of boats that are sideways on the canal. We're trying to contact the owners to make them aware.
We advise boaters - and other canal users - in this part of the country to be mindful of the extreme situation and take extra care, and for boats to remain moored up for the next day or so whilst waters subside, and we continue to assess and remedy the damage.