Water levels reduced but 'significant threat to life' remains as appeal to minority of residents who have returned to the town is issued
The water level at Toddbrook reservoir has now been reduced by six metres following round the clock efforts of a multi-agency team to ensure the stability of the dam wall, it has been reported tonight.
The RAF Chinook Helicopter is expected to be utilised again in the next 24 hours, as efforts continue to maximise the integrity of the dam.
The helicopter will be used to move large amounts of sandbags to even out the aggregate that has been placed in the wall, which needs to be even to reduce pressure.
RETURN: The Chinook helicopter has been a regular sight in the skies above Glossop in the last few days, ferrying tonnes of aggregate dropped at the damaged dam wall in efforts to shore it up. The helicopter will be back in action tomorrow as the work continues.
The Environment Agency are monitoring the flow of water into the River Goyt, and surrounding water courses.
Derbyshire Constabulary, Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Swann, said: “The team at Whaley Bridge have made excellent progress over the last five days in ensuring that we quickly drain as much water as possible from the reservoir and work to reinforce the dam wall.
“That being said, the situation in Whaley Bridge still remains critical and there is still a significant threat to life to those in Whaley Bridge and the surrounding Goyt Valley area.
“Local residents were invited to attend a meeting last night at Chapel High School, in which I was able to directly address lots of questions about the incident at the reservoir. The minutes from the meeting and subsequent answers can be found on our website.
“One of the questions we have been asked frequently by the public and media outlets is around the number of residents who returned to their properties in Whaley Bridge during Friday and Saturday and then failed to present back at the road block at which they entered.
“The number of those who remain in Whaley Bridge now stands at 20 from 16 properties. We will repeatedly visit these people to remind them of the risks they are posing to themselves and emergency responders, however there is no specific legislation under which we can force these people to leave.
“I would though like to once again thank the majority of residents and businesses who have been evacuated from Whaley and the surrounding areas, for their patience and the support they have shown to the emergency services and dedicated agencies who are working to keep them safe.
“The sense of community spirit and togetherness has been wonderful to see.
“We will be holding a further residents meeting at 5pm at Chapel High School tomorrow evening and would encourage all local residents and businesses who have been evacuated to attend so that we can talk to you directly about the progress that is being made.
“Anybody that wants to attend who has any special requirements, such as hearing loop etc is asked to contact us on [email protected] so that we can make the necessary arrangements.”
The address for tomorrow’s residents' meeting is Chapel School, Long Lane, Chapel-en-le-Frith, High Peak, SK23 0TQ.
A special meeting at the school for businesses from 6.30pm has also been organised for tomorrow, Tuesday, August 6.
The helpline number for evacuated residents is 01629 533190. This number is open between 9am and 10pm.
There is also an e-mail address for anyone wishing to donate items or services, this is [email protected]
Further information about the situation will be given as soon as it is available – and we ask local residents to follow the Derbyshire Constabulary Facebook (@derbyshireconstabulary) and Twitter (@DerbysPolice) pages and website: https://www.derbyshire.police.uk/news/derbyshire/news/