Devastating damage to Fernilee & Whaley Bridge.

Devastating damage to Toddbrook reservoir and residents of Whaley Bridge were forced to leave home.

But Whaley Bridge town people were not the only people to suffer.

Stonygate Fernilee road blocked after flash flood. View the album on Flickr.

Fernilee Hamlet was cut off for several days with extensive floods and damage.

A farmer and a dozen residents had to move a mountain stone, rocks, tree trunks to gain access to their homes. 

A few weeks later the upper part and our cottage looked fine difficult to imagine the trauma to hit the small hamlet.
Overbrook Cottage had suffered the worst.
Had a chat a chat to Jill. 

On that terrible Wednesday Jill was coming back from Whaley Bridge the rain was pelting down she could hardly see the wipers could not clear the windscreen fast enough. She arrived back home went downstairs could not understand water 2 foot up on her patio window.

 Water started dripping from the floor above she apprehensively went upstairs and met a wall of water a foot high at her front door there was also thick mud at her top door and rocks, tree roots and all sorts deposited outside her front door so, if she hadn’t got in when she did, Jill wouldn’t have been able to get into the cottage as the water was pouring down the steps to her lower floor door.

The water was dirty smelly.

Yet unbelievably after 2 minutes it was all over and water started receding very quickly.
The whole of the bridge was full of water on both sides going past our garage space and up to three foot high up on the gate 50 yards away from the bridge.

I was curious to find out why this happened yes there was torrential rain for many hours. 
Why did the flood last only two minutes?

I climbed over the barrier and did some rock climbing up Stonygate. Used my mobile phone to take some pictures.
The going was very difficult with loose rocks and drops in the road nearly five foot.
I approached the old railway bridge and went further up the road and about 15ft past the bridge the road was clear.

My theory is the valley in front of Cairn Cottage/Rock Cottage now named Stonygate filled up to the old railway embankment. A tiny holiday cottage adjacent to Stonygate also received some water damage.
The unusual August heavy rain and flash floods created a huge reservoir of water until the upper ground burst creating a massive landslide and devastating flood. Hydraulic pressure from the weight of water could have lifted rocks under the road.
This valley must have been filling up with water for several days or weeks. You can see on the tree trunks how high the water level rose.

How did the water get into the valley on Long Hill? Just above the valley a six foot section of the wall had collapsed this has been like this for over 12 months always a worry for us when taking Jazz a walk round the block a plastic barrier was put in front but still a huge drop down to the river.
My speculation one of the contributing factors the river became swollen due a blocked culvert  the flash flood took the shortest root over the road and down into the valley through the broken wall.
A few weeks later a Representatives from the Council called at Jill’s and said that the culvert up near the top of Stonygate Longhill had become blocked causing an enormous flood across the road.


We hope the Council will repair Stonygate road it is now in a dangerous state an eyesore with exposed pipes electric cables and the Fire Hydrant missing.  The area is very dark at night all the road lights now are not working.
Photo of Stonygate after flash flood


Photo of Stonygate before the flood.


The only alternative access to our cottage if  Fernilee Hall drive is unavailable is Stonygate.

Many years ago Fernilee Hall had gates at both sides of the drive these were locked at weekends and church holidays.

The council maintained Stonygate I remember many times driving up and down Stonygate without any problems. My late Grandad used to reverse up the hill in his Austin 7.  The ladies used to walk up the hill. The Austin 7 did not have sufficient power for the hill but using high ratio of reverse gear could climb the hill.   My dad’s car was quite large he had to do a bit of manoeuvring to get round the bend in the road and over the bridge to the cottages.

View the photographs on Flickr free photo sharing site.
for a slide view click on the top right hand side tiny tv screen with an arrow.
Fernilee Whaley Bridge Flood

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