Threat increases at Whaley Bridge as more rain set to hit

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Whaley Bridge residents have been given a new warning to evacuate their homes as more storms are set to hit the area increasing the risk of Toddbrook Reservoir bursting its banks.

On Saturday, one resident per household was escorted into their homes by police and given a 15-minute window to pack up pets and essentials after their initial evacuation.

Now, one day on, the risk has become too high for anyone to gain access back to their homes and those residents that refused to evacuate have been warned of the risks according to Derbyshire Police.

Derbyshire Constabulary, Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Swann, said: “The current situation at the reservoir is still critical and the threat to life remains very high in Whaley Bridge.

“The vast majority of those who have been allowed back into Whaley Bridge have been fantastic, however, there have been a very small minority of people who have returned to their homes and not presented back at the roadblock at which they entered.

“These people are putting the lives of officers at risk as further checks have to now be completed to ensure those residents are out of the area safely.

“The officers carrying out these checks are mothers, fathers, partners and friends.

“I want my officers to be able to return to their families at the end of their shifts – not be put in harm’s way.”

Work to stabilise the dam has been happening around the clock as emergency services try to reduce the risks of the dam bursting, however more storms are set to come and there are concerns that nearby town Marple, Stockport, is also at risk of flooding.

But what would you do?

Residents of Leek, Staffordshire who are also home to Tittesworth Reservoir have been thinking this week of what they would do if they were put into that situation.

Laura Carr, 32, is a farmer and she said, “I would definitely leave, especially if that is what we were told to do. I’d try to get all of my animals moved out to a safe area if I was given the time, but I wouldn’t stay.”

Other residents explained that they would understand why people may feel the need to stay with their homes but that they wouldn’t risk their lives for their homes.

Ivan Ward, 50, said: “I presume the people that are staying in their homes are older and don’t want to risk having their houses looted, but my life is more important than valuables. Money is just money, but you can’t replace life.”

Another resident also sympathised with the residents of Whaley Bridge but stated she would also leave her home behind.

Caroline Gill, 55 explained: “Part of human nature is to save your home and belongings that you’ve worked so hard for but being in your home won’t stop the water if the dam breaks.”

To keep up to date with the latest information on the Toddbrook Reservoir you can get multi agency updates on the Derbyshire Police twitter page @DerbysPolice.

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