Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Officials in Virginia fear dam will collapse as heavy rain forces evacuations

Officials in Virginia fear dam will collapse as heavy rain forces evacuations

That night, the National Weather Service reported the College Lake Dam could fail, and if it does, "the water depth at Lynchburg could exceed 17 feet in 7 minutes".

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".

Officials looked for signs of structural failure early Friday as water spilled over the dam.

Local fire and police used boats to rescue people. The NWS issued a flash flood watch for the area that lasts until early Friday.

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.

College Lake sits adjacent to the University of Lynchburg, and the dam was built in 1934 by the Virginia Department of Highways.

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

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.

After engineers preformed the assessment on the dam, they found there was no seepage in the area. Since then, the city has continued to analyze the dam to determine how to move forward.

The city of Lynchburg in the U.S. state of Virginia has seen torrential rain and severe weather in recent days.

The lake's ecosystem is degrading rapidly, the school reports, as it fills with sediment, nutrients and raw sewage, resulting in the rapid development of watershed and stormwater management problems. The school said it is open Friday, though its entrance on Lakeside Drive was closed.

Evacuees from the Sandusky Apartments are being taken to the Salvation Army, the City of Lynchburg said in a Facebook post.

"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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