A 180 metre section of the Lichfield Canal which has been recently restored proved invaluable when Storm Angus and intense rainfall hit the south side of the city last week.
Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust has been working closely with the Environment Agency to allow water to be stored within the canal, but the extreme water run-off from the latest downpour resulted in the canal pound being filled in only a few hours, delaying the arrival of the peak downstream and reducing the flood risk.
Regular walkers along the adjacent Heritage Towpath Trail, which also forms part of the Heart of England Way, were able to see the canal pound filled with water for the first time in over 50 years.
The Trust’s engineering director Peter Buck said: “Making space for floodwater and in particular natural flood management within the restored Lichfield Canal infrastructure has been a goal of the LHCRT for some time and is in line with recent government recommendations.
“The LHCRT will continue to collaborate with both the Environment Agency and Staffs County Council flood risk team to ensure the Lichfield Canal plays an important and integral part in the floodwater management plan for the south of Lichfield to reduce flood risk downstream.
“This storm has demonstrated the benefits of storing flood water in this one pound of the Lichfield Canal and further contribution the completed canal will make when it is fully restored.”
The floodwater from Storm Angus stored within the canal pound is now draining down naturally through a temporary pipe, pending agreement of the final control structures with the Environment Agency.