We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

News article created on 4 January 2016

Latest flooding news

Despite it continuing to rain on and off, floodwaters on our canals and rivers in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester are thankfully receding and we’re gradually getting a clearer picture of the significant damage they’ve caused to some parts of the network.

Flooding at Park Nook, Calder & Hebble Navigation Park Nook, Calder & Hebble Navigation

As rivers have surged, structures have been drenched and canals have over-topped. The impact has ranged from scoured towpaths and damaged wash walls to more serious incidents such as landslips, erosion of embankments and considerable structural damage to bridges.

A landslide on the Rochdale CanalWhilst it’s business as usual on the vast majority of our network, it’s clear that the flooding has had a significant impact on the eastern end of the Rochdale Canal, and the adjoining Calder & Hebble Navigation, with both facing very significant repair and clean-up costs. Impacts were also experienced in central Leeds, where the River Aire flooded, and on the disused northern section of the Lancaster Canal. 

Some of the most serious damage included:

  • Elland Bridge on the Calder & Hebble Navigation which has suffered serious structural damage. Our engineers are working with Calderdale Council on a temporary footbridge whilst options for repair (and maybe even a rebuild) are assessed
  • A 15m section of canal bank between Locks 16 and 17 of the Rochdale Canal has breached
  • A landslip has blocked the navigation between locks 15 and 16 on the Rochdale Canal. Our contractors have dug a channel through the blockage to enable water to flow along the canal
  • The embankment between the Rochdale Canal and River Calder at Charlestown has suffered severe scour damage meaning that water levels have been held low to prevent the canal wall from failing
  • The banks of the River Aire breached in Leeds and inundated the Aire & Calder Canal. Working with Leeds City Council and their contractor Bam, the breach has been temporarily repaired with stone to prevent flooding of the canal.

Elland, Calder & Hebble NavigationRichard Parry, the Trust’s chief executive, said: “As floodwaters recede the full impact of the damage caused is gradually becoming clearer and it’s already apparent that we face a major programme of repairs.

“While the focus now is on planning our longer term response I’d like to pay tribute to our teams who were out over the holidays responding to issues, and also to recognise the many offers of support we’ve had from the waterways community. The response in very difficult conditions has been fantastic and our staff, contractors and volunteers have already been out cleaning towpaths and helping to restore access where possible. 

“However, it’s clear that this is just the beginning and there is much to be done over the coming weeks and months to get things back to normal in those places hardest hit. We’ll work together with local councils and partner organisations, as well as community groups and volunteers, to restore normal order as quickly as possible and will keep you informed of our progress.”

This map illustrates a generalised view of the areas affected by flooding. More details can be found locally for: 

General areas affected

Further information

For more information on flooding in your area check the Environment Agency's website.

For the latest information about the weather including severe weather warnings please check the Met Office website.