Whaley Bridge Dam is now 'relatively stable'

Last updated at 08:12
raf-helicopterLeon Neal/Getty
RAF helicopters have dropped more than 500 tonnes of sand and rocks to help support the dam

Emergency services have been working to help stabilise a dam in Derbyshire after part of it was damaged.

Around 1,500 people were evacuated from their homes on Thursday in the town of Whaley Bridge.

The emergency services have joined people as they've been given time to go home and collect their pets and belongings before being moved to safety.

RAF military helicopters have dropped 500 tonnes of sandbags and rocks to help plug the area where the dam has collapsed.

Fire and rescue crews have used high pressure water pumps to remove more than a third of the water in the Toddbrook reservoir.

fire-crew-whaley-bridge.Leon Neal/Getty
Fire crews have been using big hoses to suck out some of the water. This picture is from two days ago, scroll down to see what it looks like now...
fire-crew-whaley-bridge.OLI SCARFF/getty
Look how much the water level has gone down. Fire crews are still working hard to lower the water levels

Many people were worried about bad weather over the weekend, but Whaley Bridge only had a little rain.

Wing Commander John Coles said: "We were fortunate with the weather.

"The military will stand by ready to come back up if required but I think the sense of the moment is very much we've got through the worst of it."

Police, the Environment Agency, and the Canal and River Trust have all said that despite it being relatively stable there still is a "real risk" of it collapsing.

If the dam did collapse, gallons of water would flood the town below, causing a lot of damage to the buildings.

toddbrook-reservoir.OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
The Toddbrook reservoir holds 300 million gallons of water - that's the equivalent of 450 Olympic-size swimming pools

The dam is around half full currently, and it could take up to two days to lower the reservoir water level down to a quarter full, which is a much safer level.

Authorities have also said that the people who have been evacuated would have to stay away until the situation is safer.

People who live nearby have been helping to donate food and clothes to those evacuated, and the emergency service workers who are trying to help.

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