U.K. fears dam collapse as floods kill three

Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes in northern England June 26 as officials warned century-old Ulley Dam was eroding and could collapse under the force of water building up behind it.

“We have a real possibility of failure of the Ulley Reservoir wall, the consequences of which would be widespread damage and flooding,” said Jamie Courtney of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

People living in Treeton, South Yorkshire, were told on June 26 to leave their homes amid fears that the earthen dam could collapse. It was the second village to be evacuated. Earlier 250 residents were awakened by police and told to leave their homes near Rotherham.

Structural engineers were working to shore up the dam and pump out water. Authorities feared a dam break would flood the Brinsworth electrical substation, just yards downstream near Rotherham.

Tens of thousands were blacked out in northern England June 25 when another substation flooded so badly engineers were only able to get back into it the next day, network operator National Grid said. About 35,000 homes and businesses lost power after the Neepsend substation in Sheffield flooded in torrential rain.

Regional electricity distributor CE Electric UK said in total about 86,000 customers lost power in June 25’s torrential rains and flooding.

About 1,400 people were evacuated from their homes following torrential rain across Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, Wales, and Lincolnshire. Three people were killed, including a 14-year-old boy.

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