At the start of August, Whaley Bridge – a small town in Derbyshire – was evacuated after serious amounts of rainfall sparked fears that the local dam could collapse following damage caused by floodwaters.
According to the BBC, the Canal and River Trust has now said that concrete repairs on the dam could take up to three years to complete, with emergency repairs already underway with help from the RAF. The water level is currently being kept low by pumps.
The dam holds back an impressive 300 million gallons of water and because of all the rain we’ve seen this summer, concrete panels partially collapsed on one side.
Regional director with the trust Sean McGinley said that it has not yet been determined whether a large-scale repair job will be appropriate for the dam or if it will need to be completely rebuilt.
He said: “I would imagine we’d be here anywhere between 18 months and three years, but it’s needed. We need to get this reservoir back up and working. It’s not an ideal situation not to have water in this reservoir, but we can manage in those situations, and canal boating can carry on. The details of what we find out are going to be shared amongst many reservoir engineers around the country.”
Whaley Bridge wasn’t the only place in the UK to suffer damage as a result of the rain we saw at the beginning of the month.
The news source also reported at the start of August that Cheshire’s Lyme Hall was badly affected as well, with a major cleanup operation required after flooding caused serious damage.
The majority of the antiques on site had apparently been saved, but fences, plants and paths had been washed away. The cafe, shop and toilets were also damaged, although the hall itself wasn’t badly affected.
While we enjoyed a nice hot Bank Holiday, just over a week ago (August 19th) it was reported that rainfall across the country was already above the national average for the month.
According to the London Evening Standard, at least 94mm of rain fell between August 1st and 17th, which is around five per cent above the national average for the entire month.
Hearteningly, however, Nicola Maxey of the Met Office said that it was still too early to tell whether the country was on its way to seeing a record-breaking month and the figure was still “a way off” being the wettest August ever. This was back in 1912, which saw a 167.6mm of rainfall.
With climate change making extreme weather events more commonplace, now might be the ideal time to look at your site and see if minimal repair work should be carried out now, to prevent bigger problems later down the line.