Whaley Bridge flood could affect canal

Published: Friday, 02 August 2019

THOUGH at present the broken reservoir dam is holding at Whaley Bridge, should it give way it is expected it will flood the Peak Forest Canal.

As most will be aware, the dam of Toddbrook Reservoir is in a state of collapse, but though an attempt is being made to pump water out of the dam to relieve pressure, there is still the chance that the broken dam will give way, hence the town being evacuated.

WhaleyBridgeDamPumped into the Goyt

At present the water is being pumped into the Goyt, that is well clear of the Peak Forest Canal, but in the event the dam gives way and so floods the surrounding area it will most certainly reach the canal and ultimately swamp the moored boats.

The reservoir is owned by Canal & River Trust, but it has given out no warning of a possible flood of the canal, though we are told boaters are hurriedly leaving, with boater Alan Fletcher telling:

Leaving moorings

"As soon as I learnt that the town had been evacuated it was obvious there was a danger of the dam bursting, so I have left my mooring near the town and am now on the Macclesfield, with other boats moving away too. As the canal is on a hillside as it comes away from Whaley Bridge, I would imagine that any flood water will go over the towpath down into the valley and the river, so boats should be safe here."

With rain, and water running into the reservoir, the water level is still near the limit, and with the town evacuated the danger of further damage to the dam and a resulting massive flood is very real, and boaters most surely be advised to leave the area, should Canal & River Trust warn them or not.

The Trust is working with other agencies to get the level of the water down, to relieve the pressure on the dam in an attempt to prevent further damage.