Weeping return to Whaley Bridge: Families are in tears as they are briefly allowed back home

Mail Online | 8/3/2019 | James Gant For Mailonline
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The evacuated residents of Whaley Bridge could face a week-long wait to return home, the owners of the town's bursting reservoir have said.

Some started crying as they were briefly allowed back to their houses as emergency services continued efforts to prevent a damaged wall from collapsing ahead of more bad weather tomorrow.

Water - Levels - Toddbrook - Reservoir - Whaley

Water levels at the Toddbrook Reservoir in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, have been reduced by half a metre since Thursday but problems with the 180-year-old structure remain at a 'critical level'.

Daniel Greenhalgh, of the Canal and River Trust, which owns the dam, was asked whether the dam was now safe following progress, to which he said: 'No, it's absolutely critical right now.'

Dam - Residents - 'This - Days

Asked when the dam could be considered safe enough for the residents to return, he said: 'This could take up to seven days.'

On Saturday, residents were allowed into their homes for periods of about 15 minutes to collect essentials, but were warned they would be doing so at their own risk.

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The Government warned there was still a threat to life in the town ahead of more bad weather on Sunday, when a Met Office yellow weather warning is in place for much of northern England and the Midlands, including the area around the reservoir.

Mr - Greenhalgh - Strategy - Dam

Mr Greenhalgh outlined a three-pronged strategy to make the dam safe.

He said workers were continuing to repair the damaged reservoir slipway, with an RAF Chinook continuing to transport tonnes of aggregate to the area to repair the hole, with grout being poured over the top of it to bind it together.

Water - Pumps - Reservoir - Water - River

Secondly, he said huge submersible 12in water pumps were being installed to help divert the reservoir water into the River Goyt.

And thirdly, he said a dam had already been constructed on a tributary feeding into the other end of the reservoir.

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