Whaley Bridge latest: Residents won't be allowed home until it is "absolutely safe"

Police say more than 15-hundred people evacuated from a town in Derbyshire over fears about a damaged dam won't be allowed home until it's "absolutely safe".

Water at Toddbrook Reservoir has continued to be pumped out for a sixth day. The level is now down by 8.4 meters and a significant progress has been made.

Emergency Services, partner agencies and volunteers have continued to work around the clock to reduce the water to a safe level to protect the homes, businesses and community of Whaley Bridge.

Now that a safe level has been reached expert engineers will be viewing the damage to the wall and a decision will be made regarding when it is safe for evacuated residents and businesses to return to Whaley Bridge.

Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Swann said: “The work that has gone into lowering the water level is outstanding from emergency services and partner agencies. Everyone has been working around the clock to make this happen.

“It is crucial that the inspections are now made by experts to ensure that the dam wall is safe prior to residents returning to their homes.

“I appreciate that this has been a traumatic time for the people evacuated and everyone is working around the clock to ensure that they can return to their homes and businesses as soon as is safe to do so.

“Our main concern remains the safety of the public in Whaley Bridge and those people will only be allowed to return to the town when it is deemed absolutely safe and they are no longer at risk.

“I would like to thank them for their patience, support and understanding.”

There has been some concern communicated from residents regarding the safety of their properties. As a response to this officers are going to be in and around the Whaley Bridge area conducting patrols.

The drone also remains in the area to conduct crime prevention patrols and officers remain on the cordon around the town.    

A third residents meeting is scheduled for 5pm today at Chapel High School, Chapel-en-le-Frith.  At 6.30pm a business surgery will be held at the same venue.

These meetings will allow residents and businesses to ask relevant questions to representatives from emergency services and partner agencies. Similar to the last meeting the key questions and answers will be published on website and social media.

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