James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Dam Collapse 'Biggest Crisis' To Ever Face Whaley Bridge
1 August 2019, 19:24
The Chair of Whaley Bridge Town Council tells LBC the partial collapse of Toddbrook Reservoir has been "very distressing" for residents and relatives of those affected.
Martin Thomas told Clive Bull an emergency was declared when engineers arrived on scene, leading to the police deciding to evacuate the lower part of the town.
Thousands of residents were told to gather at a local school with pets and medication, before being evacuated.
"There have been helicopters and drones here all day," Mr Thomas said.
"People have been encouraged to leave the town centre, it's very distressing for those who are affected or those who have relatives here who may find their relatives are not at home."
The area of Whaley Bridge affected is the lower lying part of the town, beneath the Toddbrook Reservoir dam.
"Fortunately a lot of the town is higher up and is quite safe, but the police are taking no precautions and all the roads are blocked, so it is difficult to get around the area," Mr Thomas said.
"I sincerely hope the [water] levels will be brought down, the heavy rainfall we had about an hour ago didn't help and there is more forecast, but opening the chute spillway has led to an improvement but I sincerely hope that it improves overnight."