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Whalley Bridge: Police evacuate up to 6,500 people as dam faces collapse after days of heavy rain ac

Thousands of people are being evacuated from a town because part of a reservoir wall has collapsed in floods.

Engineers are pumping water from Toddbrook Reservoir but if it bursts it could swamp Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire.

Police have told the town's 6,500 residents to gather at a local school, taking pets and medication with them.

A severe flood warning, which means a threat to life, has been issued for the River Goyt, below the reservoir.

Assistant Chief Constable Kem Mehmet from Derbyshire Police said they had plans for every scenario - including the dam collapsing.

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Police told residents to gather at Chapel High School in the neighbouring town of Chapel-en-le-Frith and to take pets and medication with them as they "are not sure how long [it] will take".

They said evacuated residents should try to arrange their own accommodation as space was limited, but some local pubs and community halls had offered to take in evacuees.

There is a yellow weather warning for rain in place from the Met Office for the area until 20:00.

Trains between Hazel Grove and Buxton have been blocked because of the flooding, affecting Northern train services between Manchester Piccadilly and Buxton.

Ten pumps from fire services across the country are currently pumping out 7,000 litres of water a minute in a bid to bring down the water level.

Read more from BBC

My view: This is unbelievable, how on earth could this weakness in the dam not been identified? Makes you wonder about the impact of climate change on the resilience of water infrastructure. Resilient infrastructure is absolutely necessary for adapting to climate change, it kind of makes you think about how we can better prepare ourselves.

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