UK – Mass Evacuations as Dam Threatens to Break

As many as 6,500 people have been evacuated from a town in Derbyshire, England, after the partial collapse of Toddbrook Reservoir dam. Heavy rain over the last few days also caused flooding in neighbouring parts of Cheshire and Greater Manchester, where emergency services rescued over 20 people from flooded properties.

Flood damage in Poynton, Cheshire, 31 July 2019. Photo: Cheshire Fire and Rescue Services

Toddbrook Reservoir Dam

Heavy rain over the last few days caused the Toddbrook Reservoir dam to overflow, damaging the dam’s spillway in circumstances similar to the damaged spillway at Lake Oroville Dam in Northern California in February 2017.

Local media report that virtually the whole town of Whaley Bridge was evacuated after the Environment Agency issued a “danger to life” warning. The agency said: “River levels in the River Goyt could still rise rapidly as a result of persistent rain and water coming from Toddbrook Reservoir on 01/08/2019. Evacuation plans are currently underway for the area of Whaley Bridge.”

A military helicopter has been deployed to shore up flood defences and the dam wall. Around 150 firefighters were also on the scene using high-volume pumps to extract water.

Flood Rescues in Cheshire and Greater Manchester

Areas of northern and central England have seen heavy rain over the last few days. Major flooding was reported in parts of Yorkshire on 30 July, damaging roads and bridges.

The following day areas to the south of Manchester saw heavy rain. Firefighters rescued over 20 people from flooded properties in Poynton and Bramhall.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Services said that on 31 July, flash flooding caused major issues in the Poynton, Bollington and Wilmslow, affecting around 60 properties and resulting in a number of road closures. Between 60-90mm of rain fell in 24 hours.

The rail line between Manchester Airport and Wilmslow, Cheshire, was blocked due to flooding as was the Manchester Airport link road.

Flood rescues in Cheshire, 31 July 2019. Photo: Cheshire Fire and Rescue Services

Social Media – Toddbrook Reservoir

Social Media – Greater Manchester and Cheshire