A short section of embankment containing the Shropshire Union Canal, Middlewich Branch, has collapsed overnight, causing water to drain from the canal into the river below.
Our emergency engineers were on site all night dealing with the breach, and the canal is currently drained between Stanthorne Lock and Wardle Lock, on the south side of Middlewich town centre, a distance of just over three quarters of a mile. The towpath has also been closed along this stretch.
We believe only one householder may be affected, with minor damage to their garden.
Between 15 and 20 boats are within the drained section and we will be contacting all the owners today with offers of assistance.
The Middlewich Branch connects the Trent & Mersey Canal just south of Middlewich town to the Shropshire Union Canal at Barbridge Junction, a distance of about 10 miles. Constructed in 1827, it is nearly 200 years old.
Today our engineers are on site trying to understand the cause of the breach and will be making an initial assessment regarding how to progress repairs, likely timescales and costs.