FIREFIGHTERS from Newtown and Llanidloes have helped pump tonnes of water from a reservoir in Derbyshire which threatened to flood a town.

A High Volume Pump (HVP) was sent from Powys on blue lights to Whaley Bridge to remove the reservoir’s water after part of its spillway collapsed following significant rainfall on Thursday, August 1.

More than 1,500 people were evacuated from their homes amid fears the 300-million-gallon Toddbrook Reservoir could flood Whaley Bridge.

Mid Wales fire crews joined firefighters from across the country when it was declared a major incident. Nine other HVPs from Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, Northamptonshire, South Yorkshire, Hereford & Worcester, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands and West Yorkshire were sent to the area to help keep the public safe.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue (MAWWFRS) crews returned to Newtown and Llanidloes on Friday, August 2.

The incident came to an end on Wednesday, August 7, after they successfully reduced the water level.

A MAWWFRS Powys Command spokesperson said on Twitter: “Our crews from Newtown Fire Station and Llanidloes Fire Station arrived back safely late last night, big thanks to Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service for looking after them and thoughts with crews continuing the hard work at Whaley Bridge.”

Craig Thomas, head of operational response at MAWWFRS, praised emergency services in Derbyshire for their support to the Powys crew.

“Huge thanks, Derbyshire Police, for your traffic control Whaley Bridge enabled us to navigate convoy of High Volume Pumps to [the] scene without delay following a long drive on blue lights from Wales. Impressive work and again many thanks [to] your officers [who] have been amazing to us.”

Roy Wilsher, chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council, said: “This is yet another example of the excellent coordinated response by the UK Fire and Rescue Service. Once again, assets have been mobilised quickly and are playing a key role in the response. Our ability to mobilise our assets is an essential part of our national resilience capability.

“This coordinated approach shows how we can get the right equipment and people in place quickly and efficiently, while working closely with others. This reiterates my previous statements about why we must be resourced to risk, as well as to demand.”