Work has continued at the dam on Toddbrook Reservoir in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, amid fears the structure could still breach.

A wide number of partner agencies including the Police, fire service, the Environment Agency, the ambulance service, local councils and emergency planning staff were assisted overnight by RAF crews who used a Chinook helicopter to move more than 50 tonnes of aggregate into the reservoir wall to reinforce it.

This work was done in conjunction with expert structural engineers, who have been advising the emergency response since yesterday afternoon.

Throughout the day, work will continue to further shore up the reservoir wall. The Chinook will also be dropping aggregate into other parts of the reservoir today, to stem the flow of water going into it.

There are also a total of 16 high volume water pumps which have been installed in the reservoir, in order to reduce the water levels. These have been provided by fire services from across the country and the Canal and River Trust, which operates the dam.

Assistant Chief Constable Kem Mehmet was urging people to stay away from the area as there is a risk the dam will fail. “We have evacuated more than 1,000 people from the areas that would be immediately affected by floodwater should the wall fail.

“We don’t know how long this operation will take to conclude but we and our colleagues in the emergency services, partner agencies, Environment Agency and military are doing everything humanly possible to save the reservoir wall and to protect the town.”


About Toddbrook Reservoir

  • Toddbrook Reservoir was built in 1831
  • The Reservoir is looked after by Canal & River Trust
  • It is approximately 0.5km to the south-west of the town of Whaley Bridge in the High Peak area of Derbyshire and 10km north of Buxton just off the A5004
  • The reservoir provides water to the Peak Forest Canal
  • It has a capacity of 1,238 megalitres and a surface area of 0.056 sq miles
  • It has a top water level of 185.69m
  • The reservoir is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It provides habitat for herons, ducks and other animals and fish
  • The reservoir has detailed annual inspections, the most recent one taking place in November 2018