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Hundreds of Whaley Bridge residents told they can return home

Derbyshire Police have said it is now safe for all residents to return to their homes in Whaley Bridge. Credit: PA

Hundreds of Whaley Bridge residents have been told they can return home, nearly a week after fears over a damaged dam.

It comes as more than 1,500 people were evacuated from the Derbyshire town last Thursday following heavy rain, which damaged the Toddbrook reservoir dam.

After allowing residents to return home, Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Swann said the danger posed by the dam "which would have destroyed homes and livelihoods could not be underestimated".

Emergency services and the military have worked to lower water to safe levels to allow people to return.

Road closed signs are removed as police have said it is safe for people living in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire. Credit: PA

Around 100 military personnel in total had also been drafted in to help with the dam.

Ms Swann said: "The danger posed by the millions of tonnes of water, which would have destroyed homes and livelihoods, could not be underestimated."

"We must not forget the dam is broken", she said before adding that work would continue over the coming days and weeks

She said: "I am able to confirm it is safe for people to go back to their homes."

On Thursday morning, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said the reservoir was at around 12-15% capacity after more water was pumped out overnight.