LATEST: Emergency services tackle Whaley Bridge dam overnight

Officers at Toddbrook Reservoir were assisted through the night by many agencies including the fire service who have sent firefighters from across the country, the Environment Agency, the ambulance service, local councils and emergency planning staff.

Police were also assisted overnight by RAF crews who used a Chinook helicopter to move more than 50 tonnes of aggregate into the reservoir wall to reinforce it.

This work was done in conjunction with expert structural engineers, who have been advising the emergency response since yesterday afternoon.

Throughout the day, work will continue to further shore up the reservoir wall. The Chinook will also be dropping aggregate into other parts of the reservoir today, to stem the flow of water going into it.

Assistant Chief Constable Kem Mehmet, said:

“Our message today remains the same -- as there is still a risk the dam will fail – please stay away from the area.

“If you are asked to leave, please heed emergency services and expert advice and do so. We understand that being asked to leave your home is an extremely difficult and worrying situation to find yourself in, however it is not a decision we have taken lightly and ultimately the safety of the public is our main concern.

“The evacuation point at Chapel High School, Long Lane, Chapel-en-le-Frith, High Peak, SK23 0TQ, will remain open today and residents will be accommodated if they are unable to make alternative arrangements.

“We have evacuated more than 1,000 people from the areas that would be immediately affected by floodwater should the wall fail.

“The majority have been able to find accommodation with family and friends. About 40 people have also been put up in a local hotel and they will be looked after today.

“We don’t know how long this operation will take to conclude but we and our colleagues in the emergency services, partner agencies, Environment Agency and military are doing everything humanly possible to save the reservoir wall and to protect the town.”

Over the last 24 hours over 150 Firefighters from Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service and fire and rescue services across the UK have been supporting the emergency response at Whaley Bridge.

16 High Volume Pumps (HVPs) designed to pump large quantities of water have been deployed to the incident from fire crews across the country and the Canal and River Trust, supported by 55 Firefighters.

There are also 15 personnel working at the strategic holding area where equipment and resources are allocated and distributed to sites across the incident area.

Speaking this morning, Derbyshire’s Chief Fire Officer said:

“I would like to thank the local residents for supporting the response to this unprecedented emergency in the Town of Whaley Bridge.  It’s a huge credit to those communities for working with the emergency services to evacuate such a large area as quickly as they did.

“We are working with all partners to reduce the risk to the surrounding area as quickly and safely as possible.”

Assistance has been sent from the following fire and rescue services: Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Lincolnshire, Hereford & Worcestershire, West Midlands, South Yorkshire, Mid & West Wales, Nottinghamshire, West Yorkshire, Staffordshire and Greater Manchester.

 

The MET Office has also issued a Yellow Weather Warning for the North West Region, with "scattered heavy showers and thunderstorms" that may cause further flooding across Derbyshire.

 

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