Canal & River Trust Launch National Flood Appeal17 February 2014
Canal & River Trust (CRT) has launched a National Canal Flood Appeal as flooding continues across the country.
CRT's engineers will not be able to fully assess the level of damage caused by the prolonged extreme weather to its waterways, but there is known to be substantial damage to many canal-banks, towpaths, locks and other waterway structures. CRT staff and volunteers continue to work to deal with the situation as best they can but are appealing for donations to fund both the short and long-term repair work that is expected to cost millions of pounds.
To make a donation to the National Flood Appeal, visit the CRT website.
Although there is still a large amount of damage to be assessed, the evidence of the scale of the situation is already visible. CRT has reported a variety of problems around the southern network, details of those that emerged over the weekend are listed below. Thankfully, large parts of the midlands network and northern and eastern waterways have come through the period of bad weather unscathed, and in many cases it is possible to navigate these waterways and visit waterway businesses. Even where the full affects of the flooding and storms have been greatest, authorities are working to re-open navigations as soon as it is safe to and waterside businesses will undoubtedly pick themselves up and re-open for business as rapidly as possible.
If you are worried about flooding on the waterways, CRT has produced information on how to keep yourself and your boat safe.
CRT Flood Damage Report
In February there has been extensive flooding on the Grand Union Canal south of Leighton Buzzard, including the Rickmansworth to Watford stretch, from Cosgrove to Stoke Bruerne, the Aylesbury Arm and the Wendover Arm.
In Somerset, the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal was used to relieve the badly affected Somerset plains but is itself now in flood and sections of the towpath have been damaged.
In Gloucestershire, the tidal Severn has worn the embankment of the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal, the last line of defence for a large area of land, whilst the River Severn has been in flood at record levels for some time; with many structures submerged, damage is likely to be significant.
In Wales, the Monmouthshire & Brecon and Llangollen canals are being assessed by engineers as the heavy rains have caused embankments to slip. Damaged sections are being urgently stabilised.
Flooding on the southern Oxford Canal has damaged historic bridges and washed away towpath surfaces.
There are also closures at various places across the network due to fallen trees and debris, on the evening of Friday 14th alone, over 100 trees fell onto CRT navigations.
To donate to the CRT National Flood Appeal, visit CRT's appeal page.
For information relating to known flooding at the end of last week, including flooding on other navigation authority waterways read IWA’s earlier news report.
Photo: River Severn Worcester (by Canal & River Trust)