Evacuations in rain-stricken Virginia amid concern dam might collapse

04 August, 2018, 22:18 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Lynchburg floods: Flooding dam sparks evacuations in US city

Other photos showed water rushing Thursday night over the dam and Lakeside Drive, which separates College Lake and Blackwater Creek.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Blackwater Creek below the dam until 3.15pm local time (8.15pm BST).

A flash flood warning was to remain in effect until 11:30 a.m. Friday and the weather service warned residents in low-lying areas north of the dam to move to higher ground immediately. They were still looking for signs of structural failure early Friday as water kept spilling over the dam, threatening about 124 houses in the city of 80,000.

Heavy rains and flash floods have struck a wide swath of the country from the Carolinas to New England.

The west-central Virginia city near the Blue Ridge Mountains has received plenty of runoff from recent rains, with 4 to 6 inches falling in the area Thursday evening and filling College Lake beyond its capacity.

A deluge of rain in Virginia has prompted hundreds of people living below an overflowing dam to be evacuated from their homes.

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Lynchburg Water Resources spokesperson Jes Gearing says it's too early to order more evacuations, but there is concern that the dam will fail.

Lynchburg has been hammered by heavy rain over the past few days, which has raised water levels inside the dam.

In 2011, Virginia's Department of Conservation and Recreation identified the College Lake Dam as one of the state's "high-hazard" dams.

There is some good news in the forecast: Following two weeks of relentlessly wet weather in the eastern usa, a drier weather pattern will move in over the weekend and into early next week, AccuWeather said.

Since 2014, the City Council has been considering options for repairing or replacing the dam. The original surface area of the lake was reported to be 44 acres and has been reduced to 19 acres due to sedimentation. People wishing to enter the building for use the entrance on the Langhorne Road side of the building.

The Black Water Creek Trail is also closed until further notice. The city of Lynchburg owns the dam and is responsible for its upkeep.

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