In 1994 the Leeds Liverpool canal through Maghull/Lydiate breached, houses in Hickson Avenue were flooded and fish were left flapping in the fields on the opposite (western) side of the canal.
I recently found and scanned some photos of the disaster which occurred between Green Lane (Methodist Turn Bridge), Maghull and the Bells Lane swing bridge, Lydiate. The cause was the canal collapsing into a culvert that went under it which carried and indeed still carries Maghull Brook under the canal. Maghull Brook is in fact the boundary between the Civil Parishes of Maghull and Lydiate.
The reason so much water escaped is that there are no locks between Stanley Dock in Liverpool and Burscough in West Lancashire, many miles away. In effect all the water between Liverpool and Burscough was trying to leave the canal via the breach which was roughly half way between the two.
I recall watching what was then British Waterways (now the Canal & River Trust) desperately trying to stop the flow by dumping rubble into the canal at Bells Lane and it being washed away by the force of the water.
My good friend Cllr. Bruce Hubbard was Mayor of Maghull back then and he launched a public appeal to help those whose houses were flooded.
Oddly, we now live in a house that backs onto the canal along this very stretch of water.
The photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-