Whaley Bridge Dam weather: Will it rain at Whaley Bridge? How much water in the reservoir?

Residents in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire have been evacuated as fears grow that the nearby Toddbrook Reservoir dam will collapse. Pictures show apparent crumbling in the dam wall, following heavy rain. Hundreds of residents have left their homes due to ”an unprecedented, fast-moving, emergency situation”.

Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Swann said on Thursday night the “future of the dam wall remains in the balance”.

She said: “I would remind people of the very real danger posed to them should the wall collapse.”

Richard Parry, chief executive of the Canal and River Trust, which runs the reservoir, warned it could be “at least 24 hours” until they can rule out the dam collapsing.

He told BBC Newsnight: ”We clearly don’t know the nature of the failure, we’ve not had the opportunity to examine it, but we’re operating in a very precautionary way with the other agencies.

Read More: Whaley Bridge: Shocking moment RAF helicopter brought in to dam site

“Our first priority is to draw down the water and it’s very important that we do keep everyone out of the area until that is done.

“It will be at least 24 hours, it could be longer, it really depends on how much progress we can make overnight and into tomorrow morning.”

Water flowing into Toddbrook Reservoir has been "reduced considerably" overnight but engineers remain "very concerned" about the integrity of the structure.

Julie Sharman, chief operating officer of the Canal and River Trust which runs the reservoir, said water levels had reduced by around 8in (200mm) overnight.

Read More: Whaley Bridge dam collapse: Aerial footage sparks panic - flood risks

Will it rain again at Whaley Bridge?

According to the Met Office, there is a 30 percent chance of rain in the Whaley Bridge area at 3pm today.

Forecaster Luke Miall said showers in the area had eased overnight, though there was a possibility of rain later in the day.

He added: “There is still a risk of showers breaking out in the afternoon, but it’s a predominantly dry picture for Friday.”

Sporadic rain is also likely in north-west Scotland and south-west England.

How much water is in the reservoir?

Toddbrook Reservoir holds approximately 1.3 million tonnes of water, but the rise in water levels following heavy downpours has put a strain on the dam wall.

Firefighters were sent from across the UK and have used at least 10 high volume pumps to decrease the water to a safe level before work will begin to repair the dam wall.

The Environment Agency issued a “danger to life” warning covering the River Goyt on Thursday, as the river could “rise rapidly” due to water rushing in from the reservoir.

A small number of properties in the areas of Furness Vale and New Mills, outside Whaley Bridge but inside the flood risk area, were also evacuated on Thursday evening.

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