Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

"Imminent failure" possible of College Lake Dam

Officials had warned late Thursday that its collapse would inundate parts of the city with 17 feet of water in just seven minutes.

The situation was much more dire Thursday, when flooding prompted some evacuations in the city of roughly 80,000 people.

The National Weather Service in Blacksburg has issued a Flash Flood Warning for The Blackwater Creek below College Lake Dam in Lynchburg until 3:15 am.

"12 to eight inches of water is flowing over Lakeside Drive into Blackwater Creek".

Given the condition of the dam and the state of the lake, Perrow says, the most likely "fix" isn't actually a repair - he says the city is likely to tear the dam down completely and replace it with a bridge.

"We are still concerned about its overall stability going into tonight and tomorrow morning", said Tim Mitchell, the director of Lynchburg Water Resources.

Evacuees can not return home until they get the green light.

Flooding in Lynchburg
Water rescue in Lynchburg Flooding in Lynchburg

Firemen waded through flood waters on Thursday in Lynchburg.

In Lynchburg, Virginia, about 150 people were forced from their homes after a dam began to overflow.

A video posted on Facebook by Lynchburg officials showed broken sidewalks and heavy flows of water in streams and rivers.

Some 124 households have been urged to evacuate, Lynchburg's Department of Emergency Services said. Heavy rains have caused rising water and crews are using caution, CBS Roanoke affiliate WDBJ reports.

The city near the Blue Ridge Mountains has received plenty of runoff from recent rains, and 4 to 6 inches of rain fell in the area Thursday evening, filling College Lake beyond its capacity. In all, some 26 million people live where a flash flood watch is in effect. There is also the prospect of stronger storms developing in the afternoon, which could lead to isolated wind damage.

Parts of Lynchburg, Virginia, have been evacuated as floodwaters have compromised the integrity of a dam upstream.

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