Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Areas of Virginia city evacuate over possible dam failure

Areas of Virginia city evacuate over possible dam failure

Officials have said that the College Lake Dam is overflowing after days of heavy rains and that if it fails portions of the city could be under 17 feet of water in just seven minutes, according to the National Weather Service.

Officials in Lynchburg, in south-central Virginia, pronounced an endangered dam as "stable and safe" Friday afternoon, hours after they had warned the dam faced "imminent failure".

"Although water levels have decreased, the threat for dam failure continues", and emergency personnel will check for signs of structural failure, the agency said.

Local fire and police were sending boats to rescue people to area shelters.

A flash-flood watch is in effect through 6 pm Friday in Lynchburg, with 1 to 3 more inches of rain expected.

Water damage restoration and cleaning services have reported being inundated with calls for help from Lynchburg and surrounding area residents who have already returned to their homes.

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Since 2014, the City Council has been considering options for repairing or replacing the dam.

"About 200yards down that hill is a dam, behind that dam is a reservoir, College Lake".

The situation was much more dire Thursday, when flooding prompted some evacuations in the city of roughly 80,000 people. If you are in low lying areas below the College Lake Dam, you should move to higher ground immediately.

Residents in the Virginia city of Lynchburg were ordered to evacuate their homes amid fears Friday morning that a dam could fail and flood the city. The original surface area of the lake was reported to be 44 acres and has been reduced to 19 acres due to sedimentation.

The Black Water Creek Trail is also closed until further notice.

"We are developing a plan to stabilize the dam which may include opening the sluice gate at the dam to reduce the water levels", the city said in a statement, adding those downstream should not see significant flooding if that occurs.

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