Last night (20 January) saw wind and rain battering the north of England as Storm Christoph hit. Our teams put in a heroic effort, working throughout the night to manage water levels, arrange road closures and ensure our waterways, the surrounding areas, and boaters were kept safe.
With the storm forecast, the same teams were out in the preceding days clearing grids, adjusting feeds and sluices, removing weir boards, closing flood gates, and taking water out of the system where we could to increase capacity. We’ve been working together with the Environment Agency, local emergency services, councils and utility companies to mitigate the impact.
Our waterways are exposed to the extreme weather that has become more common in recent years and it is clear, with many lock sites under water and water levels still rising in some areas, our navigations have suffered damage.
In addition to trees down across the network, water levels are running particularly high on the Weaver, with roads closed. Land has slipped into the navigation on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Anderton. There has been a small breach on the Shropshire Union which our team is working to resolve. Several locks in Yorkshire & North East were underwater, including Lemonroyd, Bullholme, Woodnook, Leeds, Kilnhurst and Mexborough.
Toddbrook Reservoir, and the recent breach site on the Aire & Calder, remained secure as our teams actively managed water levels.
Thank you to all our colleagues who worked so hard overnight and in the run-up to the storm.
We will provide more details as the weather stabilises and more information is available.