Dozens More Homes Evacuated In Whaley Bridge As Thunderstorms Threaten Efforts To Repair Dam

4 August 2019, 08:02

The dam at Whaley Bridge
The dam at Whaley Bridge. Picture: PA

Thunderstorms are threatening to bring more unwanted rainfall to a Derbyshire town where a damaged dam is feared to be at risk of collapse.

Dozens more homes in Whaley Bridge were evacuated overnight ahead of the expected bad weather, as emergency workers continue their efforts to prevent the dam from collapsing.

The warning of threat to life remains for the town.

Water levels at the Toddbrook Reservoir in the town have been reduced by 1.3 metres since Thursday, the Department for the Environment said, but police warned the 180-year-old structure remained in a "critical condition" with a breach still a "very real threat".

Thousands of residents were evacuated on Thursday after parts of the wall of the reservoir have collapsed in floods.

- Derbyshire Residents Evacuated As Whaley Bridge Dam Partly Collapses

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The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for up to 40mm of rain to fall in just an hour for across northern England and the Midlands, including the area around the reservoir.

Police said the added evacuations on Saturday evening were due to a "potential increase in risk of adverse weather in coming days and the ongoing risk of the Toddbrook Reservoir breaching."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who visited the area on Friday, promised the damaged reservoir would have a "major rebuild".

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers paid tribute to the "patience and fortitude" of residents and thanked all those working to repair the dam.

An RAF Chinook has dropped more than 400 sandbags onto the dam, and around 150 firefighters have been using high-volume pumps to remove excess water from the reservoir.