Cheshire West and Chester Council has been working with the Environment Agency and the Canal and River Trust to strengthen flood defences at Dee Lock in Chester to protect nearby properties.

The works, led by the Environment Agency, are now nearing completion. The new defences include a raised wall and the use of removable stop-log boards at Dee Lock, where there was a low spot in the defences where the Shropshire Union Canal connects to the River Dee.

Previously, if water levels rose in the River Dee, water would flow over the top of the canal gates and fill the Dee Lock basin. As water levels rose in the basin, they could flood properties and premises in the Old Port area and floodwaters could flow to New Crane Street. In December 2013, a storm surge on top of a high spring tide caused some flooding to properties in the Old Port.

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The council’s cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure, Cllr Brian Clarke, said: “Once complete, the defences will provide the same standard of protection as the defences already in place along Sealand Road and the Cop and will protect up to 70 properties and the main road from the risk of river and tidal flooding.”

Senior advisor at the Environment Agency David Brown said: “It’s been quite a complex job which involved the use of specialist divers who inspected the lock and then attached all the necessary fittings for the stop-log defences. There was also a considerable amount of silt in the basin that needed to be removed before work could begin.”

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Once the work is completed the stop-log boards will be fitted prior to high tides.

Removable stop-logs allow the link between the river and canal to be maintained, while also reducing the flood risk to the Old Port area.