As it happenedended1564685986

Whaley Bridge dam emergency - live: Reservoir wall at ‘high risk’ of collapse as entire town near Manchester evacuated amid major flood fears

Derbyshire town evacuated as water level rises

Colin Drury
Whaley Bridge
,Andrew Griffin,Chris Baynes
Thursday 01 August 2019 19:59 BST
Whaley Bridge: Derbyshire town evacuated as Toddbrook Reservoir dam wall collapses

Emergency services are working to secure a dam amid fears it could collapse after damage caused by extreme weather.

An evacuation has been launched and members of the public are being warned to stay out of the area around Derbyshire's Toddbrook Reservoir, near Manchester, after officials discovered the damage.

Authorities have told members of the public to "stay away" from the area in case residents and businesses need to be evacuated.

Please allow a moment for the live blog to load.


Here's the latest from Ruth George, the MP for High Peak:

URGENT: This is the latest advice from Derbyshire Police re Toddbrook Reservoir and Whaley Bridge. 

There is currently no evacuation taking place in Whaley Bridge at this time (as of 1pm today, Thursday 1 August) .

Business owners, and people who are not residents of the area, are being advised to leave to ensure that, should there be a requirement for an evacuation, then this can be done as quickly and safely as possible. 

Volunteers are NOT required at the reservoir and we would ask for people to stay away from the area.

Andrew Griffin1 August 2019 13:30

Photos from the scene show fairly spectacular damage to the wall.

Andrew Griffin1 August 2019 13:42

Derbyshire Police confirm they are not yet evacuating the area but have asked business owners and non-residents to leave so, should an evacuation be required, it cane be done as quickly as possible:

colin.drury1 August 2019 14:06

The fire service is also attending the incident to put road diversions in place. Drivers are being asked to avoid the area:

colin.drury1 August 2019 14:09

An evacuation of Whaley Bridge has now been launched. Police have released a statement saying:

"Whaley Bridge is being evacuated due to the ongoing situation at Toddbrook Reservoir.

"If you are being asked to leave your home then please attend Chapel High School, Long Lane, Chapel-en-le-Frith, High Peak, SK23 0TQ, where further direction will be given.

"Police officers and staff will be at the school to provide further direction, though at this time we are not sure how long the evacuation will take.

"Residents are asked to make alternative arrangements to stay with friends and family, ensure that any pets are taken with them and that all medication that may be needed for a number of days is taken with them.

"If people do not have somewhere to go then they will be accommodated, however, there is limited capacity to do so.

"If you are unable to leave your own home and require assistance please contact 101 and ask for the police."

colin.drury1 August 2019 14:15

The evacuation announcement came almost simultaneously with the Environment Agency issuing a "severe flood - danger to life" warning - its highest alert.

In a statement, the agency said:

"River levels in the River Goyt could rise rapidly as a result of water coming from Toddbrook Reservoir on 01/08/2019 at 14:00...

"If you believe that you are in immediate danger, please call 999. Please be aware of your surroundings, keep up to date with the current situation, and avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses."

colin.drury1 August 2019 14:24

Derbyshire Police confirm evacuation in new tweet:

colin.drury1 August 2019 14:27

Our full breaking story on the evacuation here

colin.drury1 August 2019 14:29

More pictures now showing the sheer scale of the damage to the reservoir wall:

colin.drury1 August 2019 14:32

From this angle, the damage to the wall actually looks more severe than it had appeared in those first images:

Andrew Griffin1 August 2019 14:38

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in