Sheffield residents praise taskforce over Peak District dam efforts

Star readers have praised emergency services and the military for their efforts to try and stop a catastrophic collapse of a dam in the Peak District.

By Lee Peace
Saturday, 03 August, 2019, 14:06

Thousands of residents were evacuated from Whaley Bridge on Thursday after the dam wall at Toddbrook Reservoir became cracked and started to fall away following torrential rainfall.

A major operation involving a multi-agency taskforce consisting of the Environment Agency, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, the Canal River Trust, police, military and many others, has been ongoing in recent days to try and secure the damaged dam.

Toddbrook Reservoir near the village of Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, after it was damaged in heavy rainfall. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 1, 2019. See PA story WEATHER Rain. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

A high-volume pump from Aston Park fire station in Sheffield has been sent to help lower the water level so workers can make the dam safe, while an operational support officer has also been sent by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

The incident has also led to the railway line between Sheffield and Manchester to be closed.

A number of Star readers have now taken to Facebook to praise the taskforce for their efforts to re-stabilise the dam – and avert a potential collapse.

Angela Gunstone praised the “incredible skill” of an RAF Chinook helicopter pilot who dropped sandbags onto the dam wall in a bid to help keep it from breaching.

Tony Brown added: “Amazing work by our British military as always.”

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Kay Piearcey posted: “Well done to all the emergency services and military working to save these people’s homes.

“Let’s hope everyone can all go home soon and (a) disaster is averted.

“Reminds me of when Ulley (Reservoir) was at risk a few years ago and how close they were.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the scene on Friday and promised that the damaged reservoir would have a "major rebuild" as he met locals at nearby Chapel-en-le-Frith High School, which is being used as an evacuation centre.

Describing the damage to the dam as "pretty scary", he said: "I was talking to one of the villagers from Whaley Bridge who said that he remembered something like this happening 50 years ago.

"We've had an exceptional weather event, we must make sure that this dam can cope with it in the future.

"That will mean a major rebuild, clearly."