The Rochdale Canal is closed once again as flood waters rise in the Calder Valley.
The closure is in the area around Lock 12, west of Hebden Bridge. This is the area badly affected by the floods of two weeks ago, in which sections of wall and towpath were washed away and a boat was swept from its mooring and left stranded right across the canal. It was from Lock 12 that a boat crew had to be rescued by the fire brigade.
Heavy rain has been falling in the River Calder catchment area all day, onto already saturated ground, with the water running straight into the river.
This item will be updated if further information arrives.
Update Monday 9th July:
The flood locks remain closed today. A further update will be issued tomorrow.
Update Wednesday 11th July:
There has been further severe rainfall in the area this week, which has resulted in a large amount of debris being swept into the canal, blocking it between Locks 11 and 12, west of Hebden Bridge. The canal, therefore, remains closed between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden.
The Canal and River Trust has issued the following statement, which boat users on the Rochdale Canal (and elsewhere) should note:
Following the floods in Hebden Bridge on 9th July 2012, the Fire and Rescue Service have expressed concern to us that customers had unilaterally chosen to raise lock paddles to run pounds down and that this had the potential to worsen flooding. We found paddles unexpectedly in the up position ourselves when attending the site.
If pound levels become a concern we would ask customers not to interfere with the water control equipment. If you need to report worsening water levels please do so via the emergency number 0800 47 999 47, and if you are concerned for your own safety contact the Emergency Services using 999.
Update Friday 13th July:
The canal channel has been cleared and is now open to navigation.
However, the previously announced restrictions continue to apply. These are: because of the dangerous condition of the towpath and lock landings at Lock 12 and 13, west of Hebden Bridge, these locks will be operated by CRT staff between 12.00 noon and 2.00 pm each day (7 days a week). Outside of these opening hours, these two locks will be padlocked so that they cannot be used.
Update Monday 16th July:
Further work has been completed and Lock 13 is now fully open to navigation. However, the above restrictions still apply to Lock 12, i.e. operated by CRT staff between 12.00 noon and 2.00 pm each day (7 days a week). Lock 12 is padlocked outside those hours as it is still unsafe for boaters to use it unassisted.
Update Friday 20th July. 5.00 pm:
The canal is now fully open to normal navigation. The restrictions at Lock 12 have been lifted.
Lock 12 and some of the damage to wall and towpath from the last flood.