Kier team helps secure dam at Whaley Bridge

Residents at Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire have been able to return to their homes after a major flooding disaster was narrowly averted.

Employees from Kier were quickly deployed to the Derbyshire village to activate an emergency drawdown plan at Toddbrook Reservoir on behalf of the Canal & River Trust, when the wall of the reservoir dam became in serious danger of collapse.

The response by Kier, its supply chain, the RAF and emergency services led to water levels being reduced by over 10 metres, resulting in the situation being declared safe and residents allowed back home.

55 employees from Kier and its supply chain worked around the clock on site since the beginning of the emergency on 1 August, working alongside the trust, emergency services and the RAF. Overall, they installed 11 submersible pumps and over a kilometre of associated piping. They also removed three weirs, provided 700 tonnes of stone for the RAF to drop using the chinook helicopter and 400 tonnes of grouting.

Additionally, they installed numerous roads and access points, including a new road which ran from one side of the reservoir, allowing water pumps to be installed and maintained.

The emergency scheme was led by Eddie Quinn, director at Kier Regional Civils, who said: “The situation at Whaley Bridge was tense and at sometimes dangerous. I’m very proud of our team and supply chain for quickly coming together to help the Canal & River Trust and residents in the area. Working together, we quickly got the first water pumps into service and have been able to pump water out of the reservoir quickly. It has been heart-warming to see the various organisations, as well as the local community come together during this time and we’re so pleased that residents are able to get back into their houses.”

Richard Parry, Canal & River Trust chief executive, said: “We would like to thank Kier and its supply chain who have reacted very quickly to this emergency and worked tirelessly to reduce water levels and stabilise the dam.”

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