Disruption and Danger Due To Potential Dam Collapse at Whaley Bridge

36 miles north of Belper, in the High Peak, the 1830s dam of Toddbrook Reservoir is on the verge of collapse and the village of Whaley Bridge is being evacuated.  The damage to the dam has been caused by the intense amount of rain recently, and although there are emergency services and engineers on site, the damage is increasing in size.  Structural engineers have said that the dam wall now has “a high risk of failing.”  If the dam wall breaks, the water will go straight through the village.

There is no risk of the water flooding downstream to Amber Valley because Whaley Bridge is on the River Goyt, which is a tributary of the Mersey.

Residents are being evacuated to Chapel High School in Chapel-en-le-Frith.  They have been told to take pets and medications with them.  They are being advised to find their own lodgings, as there is limited space available in Chapel-en-le-Frith.

Whilst this isn’t strictly hyperlocal news for DE56, it’s a big enough catastrophe to affect any locals who may be travelling, or work in the area, and be of concern to those with friends and family in the area.

The Environment Agency has issued a severe flood warning for the area, indicating “danger to life”.


No trains will be stopping in the area.  Rail Travel between Hazel Grove and Buxton is entirely cancelled, with no trains stopping. The stops cancelled are: Disley, New Mills Newtown, Furness Vale, Whaley Bridge, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Dove Holes, and Buxton.  Further updates can be found HERE.


Bus services through the High Peak have been shortened:

  • Skyline 199 now ends at Chapel Town End/ Bypass
  • The 61 is diverting via Dove Holes
  • The 190 now ends and starts at Bridgemont

The Derbyshire police, and fire service, have warned drivers to avoid roads in the area and several roads have been closed, with diversions in place.  The public are advised to “stay away” from the area entirely.

Road Closures:

All roads through the area are closed, including the A6, Buxton Road (A5004), Macclesfield Road (B5470), Whaley Lane and Reservoir Road.

5 minutes before publication, weather servies warned that more rain is heading for Whaley Bridge.


Clare Washbrook

Current Editor-in-Chief News and magazine editor since 1995 Post-grads: Literature; Theatre; Journalism, Ethics & Law Community Affiliations: Belper Goes Green, Belper's WW1 Poppies, Amber Valley Solidarity No political party memberships/affiliations.

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