Northern canals suffer in flood

Published: Thursday, 21 January 2021

IT IS the northern canals that have suffered in the recent torrential rainfall, with damage and debris along the Aire & Calder and  Calder & Hebble river navigations.

The constant downpour has caused the rivers to surge with their floodwaters causing significant damage to the canals as they overtopped, with a section of the Rochdale Canal at Todmorden being breached and the floods causing landslides. 

elland br collapseThe embankment between the Rochdale Canal and the Calder at Charlestown has been damaged and water levels have been lowered to prevent the canal wall from collapsing.

Elland Bridge suffers again

Both the Aire & Calder and Calder & Hebble navigations have suffered with once again the Elland Bridge damaged as it did in the floods of 2016 (pictured) when it had to be completely rebuilt to the original design, that obviously is no longer fit for purpose.

The banks of the Aire have breached in Leeds and flooded the Aire & Calder Navigation.  Many structures have been underwater as the waterways overtopped and it is expected that some will have sustained damage, that will be assesses once the flood waters have receded.

SunkJan2021Boats sunk

A great many boats have been caught in the floods with many sunk along both the Aire & Calder and Calder & Hebble navigations, with owners urged to visit to make secure, it being deemed an emergency under the current coronavirus rules.

At the moment the floods are receding, and the promise of clearer weather should help in their rescue.

Of the destruction, Richard Parry, Canal & River Trust Chief Executive, explained:

Major programme of repairs

“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.”