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Forty soldiers from the Light Dragoons have deployed to Whaley Bridge to help emergency services battling to reduce water levels at Toddbrook Reservoir.

At the request of the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) the soldiers from ‘A’ Squadron were drafted in to support the race against time and the weather to pump water from the dam and ensure its stability. The Catterick-based soldiers have been working to assist building a temporary structure using sandbags to divert the water from the reservoir to a tributary that feeds the River Goyt.

The soldiers also worked with Greater Manchester Police on Saturday afternoon to distribute information packs and knock on doors to warn and inform residents in Marple Bridge and Stockport should they need to evacuate and the process involved.

The Light Dragoons are currently held at readiness as part of the UK Standby Battalion (North) to respond to UK contingencies and emergencies. Soldiers from the Regiment also deployed to York in 2015 to help the emergency services, Environment Agency and emergency services when the historic city was hit by floods.

Lance Corporal Carl Brown was one of the soldiers who deployed to York in 2015 and was on the ground in Whaley Bridge today. He said: “We are just happy to be here to help the local community. We are all pulling together to get the work done. I was happy to help in York and I’m happy to help here. Wherever we are needed we’ll help out – it’s what the Army does.

Reservists from 162 Regiment RLC have also been based in Matlock performing a critical military liaison co-ordination role. A reconnaissance team from 170 Engineer Group also worked with civilian engineers to conduct a technical assessment of the dam.

Words and images copyright MOD Army

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