Grand re-opening of the Great Western Canal near Tiverton

The Grand Western Canal and towpath have been officially re-opened at Halberton more than a year after its banks were breached during a severe winter storm.

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Canal back in business

The canal was reopened this lunchtime. Local boat owners were the first to use the repaired stretch of canal.

The Grand Western Canal and towpath have re-opened at Halberton more than a year after its banks were breached during a severe winter storm. Credit: ITV News West Country

Canal to be reopened

Spectators gather for grand reopening of the Grand Western Canal in Halberton near Tiverton. Credit: ITV News West Country

The Grand Western Canal and towpath will officially re-open today more than a year after its banks were breached during a severe winter storm.

Narrow boats preparing for the grand reopening of the Grand Western Canal in Halberton near Tiverton. Credit: ITV News West Country

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Dams keeping water in canal

Fire crews in Devon are working flat out to pump-off water after part of the Grand Western Canal collapsed.

Hundreds of thousands of gallons of water poured into fields when the embankment collapsed on Wednesday. Emergency dams are keeping water levels high further up the canal.

Bob Cruwys reports:

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Latest on collapsed canal near Tiverton

Little if any of the water which flooded out of the Grand Western Canal into surrounding fields when an embankment collapsed seems to have drained away this morning.

The canal is fairly empty but the fields are full of water this morning Credit: ITV Westcountry

Several gulls have taken up residence, perhaps finding easy pickings in this new lake with all the fish which were washed out of the canal in the flood.

Work to shore up emergency dams is continuing today to try to stop any more water leaking out of this canal. It will be some time before any attempt to rebuild the embankment and repair this stretch of canal.

It is likely to take years but officials hope to have it reopened in time for the 200th anniversary of the canal in 2014.

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