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Water pumping to continue at Whaley Bridge dam in Derbyshire

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The pumping of water from a reservoir to stop the Whaley Bridge dam in Derbyshire from bursting is set to continue, according to reports from the BBC.

On 5 August, the Toddbrook Reservoir located above Whaley Bridge dam was 46% full, but needs to drop to 25% before those evacuated from their homes are allowed to return. Residents of Whaley Bridge have spent a total of five days out of their homes due to the partial collapse of the dam wall.

According to the UK’s Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), a national review into the structural safety of dams across the country could be carried out.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers visited Whaley Bridge on 3 August where she met with emergency response teams working to fix a breach at the Toddbrook Reservoir. Measures currently being undertaken to fix the dam include the use of RAF Chinook helicopters to drop over 400 sandbags, as well as the use of pumps to remove excess water from the reservoir.

“My thoughts are with the people who have had to leave their homes,” Villiers said. “Having spoken today to some of those evacuated I know how difficult this situation is for them and I pay tribute to their patience and fortitude. It’s been wonderful to see the community support and spirit in Whaley Bridge.

“I want to thank all emergency services, military personnel, Environment Agency and volunteers for their continued hard work. I am confident that everything that can be done is being done and I’ve seen a reassuring amount of progress today.”

The Environment Agency will continue to closely monitor the flood risk to Whaley Bridge residents. In July 2019, the government announced an additional £2.9 million (€3.15 million) in extra funding to better protect communities in England from the impacts of flooding.