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Heavy rain causes flooding in the North East

Over the past 24 hours our canals and rivers have witnessed intense rainfall, with a month’s worth of rain falling in just one day in some areas of the country.

Thanks to their proximity to rivers, our canals are prone to flooding in extreme weather conditions. In most cases when a canal floods we will close the stretch of waterway to the public and wait for the water to subside naturally.

Although an extremely rare occurrence, flooding can have more serious consequences and cause a canal to breach. When a breach does take place we make every effort to stem the water supply to this stretch of canal and keep boaters and the public informed with our online stoppage information.

Heavy rainfall

Following the exceptionally heavy rains yesterday, the Trent & Mersey Canal has breached. David Baldacchinno, waterway manager for the Trent & Mersey Canal, explains: “Due to heavy rainfall overnight, the Trent & Mersey Canal has breached at Dutton Hollow near Preston Brook. The water has gone onto farmland and nobody was injured. No houses have been damaged, however there are a small number of boats on the stretch that have been affected. We are in the process of identifying owners to contact them and let them know.

“Following reports of erosion yesterday, teams were onsite overnight to install a temporary dam and stop planks to isolate this section. However, further heavy rainfall resulted in the breach this morning. Teams remain on site to reinforce safety measures and ensure that all accesses to the towpath in this area are closed. Engineering specialists are also present to plan how to repair the damage.

For the latest navigational updates visit

For detailed flood information in your area you can also call the Environment Agency's floodline on 0845 988 1188.

Last Edited: 26 September 2012

photo of a location on the canals
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