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Authorities Monitor Dam as Flooding Hits Lynchburg Area

04 August, 2018, 00:29 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Lynchburg floods: Flooding dam sparks evacuations in US city

The Lynchburg Department of Emergency Services said areas near the dam were being evacuated Thursday night.

People are evacuating from Blackwater Creek Trail in Lynchburg because the College Lake Dam may fail.

Heavy rains Thursday filled College Lake near Lynchburg beyond capacity, prompting officials to report that the lake's dam was in danger of "imminent failure".

Members of the Campbell County Fire Department wade through water at an apartment complex in Lynchburg, Va., Aug. 2, 2018.

People who were evacuated may not be able to return to their homes for at least 24 hours.

According to Lynchburg Water Resources, College Lake Dam is considered stable after a conditions assessment was preformed Friday afternoon.

A truck passes a partially submerged abandoned vehicle in Lynchburg, Va. during a thunderstorm, August 2, 2018.

City crews inspect the dam weekly because of its age.

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The fear of widespread flooding was triggered by a deluge in rain-soaked Virginia that brought up to 3 inches of rain in one hour to the Lynchburg area Thursday.

The west-central Virginia 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.

The following is a list of block ranges that would be affected in the event of a dam break.

The dam was built in the 1930s by the Virginia Department of Highways and is now listed among "high hazard dams" in need of fix in Virginia.

And every proposed fix would cost millions of dollars. The dam has been under survey by the city for years as a safety hazard.

"Unfortunately", he said, "a lot of rain in a short period of time can cause this".

Authorities warn 5 meters of water could hit Lynchburg in Virginia in minutes if a dam overspills. "But [the dam] is in compliance". "We are developing a plan to stabilize the dam which may include opening the sluice gate at the dam to reduce the water levels".

Then, Gearing said, workers can stabilize the bridge in preparation for the next storm approaching.

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