Manchester

Flood warning review for Manchester Ship Canal

Canal flooded
Image caption Manchester Ship Canal, which also runs through Cheshire, is not part of the national flood monitoring network

The Environment Agency has promised a review after no warning was given to parts of Cheshire that flooded on Boxing Day.

Residents and businesses near the Manchester Ship Canal at Thelwall and Lymm said the lack of warning had cost them thousands of pounds.

The canal is not part of the national flood monitoring network and its operator Peel Ports has yet to respond.

The agency is responsible for warnings of flooding from the river and the sea.

The governmental organisation said it would work with Peel Ports to "explore how we can improve our warning service for this area".

"Our thoughts are with those who have had their homes and businesses flooded over Christmas," it added.

Resident Greg Hogan said the lack of warning meant he could not save possessions in his house, which is half a mile to the south of the canal.

'Nobody said anything'

"I immediately went on to the internet to look for flood alerts and any other information that might suggest there was any danger in the area we are, and there was absolutely nothing.

"Nobody called us, nobody said anything."

Clothing designer Christine Gilbert said she would think of relocating her business if a new warning system was not put in place. "We were flooded by a canal, and they say there's no warning on a canal - that needs to change," she said.

Warrington Borough Council has launched an investigation into the cause of the flooding and the response to it.

Lymm councillor Bob Barr said: "I want to see the investigation ensure that those in Lymm and Thelwall are better informed when they are at risk and are given better warnings when it becomes inevitable that the area will flood. This didn't happen this time."

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: "This is a complex network of watercourses with multiple owners and operators, including the Manchester Ship Canal which is operated by the Manchester Ship Canal Company.

"The Environment Agency has responsibility for flooding from rivers and the sea, however, as part of our multi-agency review we will explore with our partners, including the Manchester Ship Canal Company, how we can improve our flood warning service for this area."

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