Highlands & Islands

Caledonian Canal closure after flooding at Cullochy

Cullochy Lock on Caledonian Canal Image copyright Dannie Calder/Geograph
Image caption The flooding happened at Cullochy near Fort Augustus

The Caledonian Canal may be closed to sea-to-sea traffic until the end of April after flood water ripped apart a weir near Fort Augustus.

It happened after heavy rain in the area combined with melting snow.

About half of the weir at Cullochy was washed away at the weekend causing water levels in Loch Oich to drop by almost a metre.

Scottish Canals has estimated it will cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to repair the damage.

It said it would carry out the work as quickly as possible in order to minimise the impact on canal users.

A spokeswoman said: "This is a significant and unforeseen breach of the canal which requires a major civil engineering response that will take many weeks to complete.

"This will mean that the Caledonian Canal at this location, and for sea to sea transits, could be closed to navigation until the end of April - although we will do all we can to carry out the work as quickly as possible in order to minimise the impact on our customers.

"Once the work to stem the flow of water has been carried out, we hope to be able to manage the repair works to the weir while the canal is operational."

She added: "We have already moved a number of boats away from the site and informed our commercial operators and partners, such as Sepa. We will continue to keep customers regularly informed of progress and will provide updates on our website and via our social media channels."

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