Rotary clubs in Derbyshire have been on standby to help emergency services who are battling to fix a damaged dam in Whaley Bridge.
Around 1,500 people have been evacuated from the town in the High Peak, after so much rainfall has affected the stability of the Toddbrook Reservoir.
Police, the Environment Agency and the Canal & River Trust have all said there is a “real risk” that the 188-year-old dam could collapse and flood the town.
Whaley Bridge lies seven miles from Buxton and sits within the area which Buxton Rotary draw their members from.
This is a fast-moving emergency. If Rotary is asked for assistance, then Buxton may call on other clubs in the surrounding Districts to help in whatever way they can.”
David Hood, 1220 District Governor which covers South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, said he had been in constant touch with Buxton Rotary’s Joint President, Doug Jones.
He said that on the first evening of the emergency when engineering began pumping water from the 300-million gallon Toddbrook Reservoir, amid fears it could burst and swamp Whaley Bridge, Rotarians contacted Derbyshire County Council and High Peak Borough Council to offer assistance.
“Specifically, they offered to help with volunteers, accommodation in the homes of Rotarians, and funding, if that was needed,” explained David.
“They also contacted Derbyshire Constabulary to make a similar offer.
“To date, though the council are aware of their offer of help in such a fast-moving and fluid situation, as of Friday evening they have not called upon their assistance.”
David said that local businesses and the community have risen to the task in a magnificent way.
Hotels and guesthouses have made accommodation available for those who need it. Campsites have offered places for caravans and motor homes, as many residents want to keep their pets with them and hotels are reluctant to allow this.
Local catering companies, including supermarkets, have been providing food for the local community, emergency services and volunteers.
David Hood added: “This is a fast-moving emergency. If Rotary is asked for assistance, then Buxton may call on other clubs in the surrounding Districts to help in whatever way they can.
“At the moment the word from the emergency services and the local authorities is to wait and we will call when we know more.”