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English town evacuated as water cascades from damaged dam

A team of men look at the damage to the wall of Toddbrook Reservoir near the village of Whaley Bridge, Cheshire, England, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019. (Danny Lawson/PA via AP) 

By Andrew R.C. Marshall and Phil Noble

WHALEY BRIDGE, England, Aug 1 (Reuters) – An entire English town was evacuated on Thursday after torrents of water cascaded from a damaged dam and a catastrophic failure was feared.

Video posted on social media showed water gushing from the Toddbrook Reservoir, which sits above the town of Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire, central England.

The residents of the town, population about 6,000, were told to leave and take with them pets and medication.

Police said the wall of the reservoir had been damaged. “The incident currently poses a significant threat to life,” Derbyshire police said.

Britain’s Environment Agency issued a severe flood warning for the area, saying water levels in the River Goyt, which runs through the town, could rise rapidly.

The evacuation comes after heavy rain this week in northern England caused flash floods, road closures and bridge collapses. Britain’s Met Office reported Wednesday downpours of 2 inches of rain in just one hour.

(Reporting Andrew Marshall and Phil Noble; writing by Michael Holden; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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