Parts of Virginia city evacuate over possible dam failure

Parts of Virginia city evacuate over possible dam failure

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. Engineers determined that the dam's spillway was not large enough to handle water flow in the event of extreme weather conditions.

County officials reported the dam's "imminent failure" at around 9:30 p.m.

But by early afternoon Friday, officials said the dam was stable, and were considering opening a sluice gate at the dam to help reduce the water in the lake, according to a statement from Lynchburg Water Resources.

Local outlet WDBJ7 said a number of people whose homes were deemed to be at risk had been evacuated to nearby schools, along with their pets.

Carter explained that they were already dealing with floods from days of rain - more than six inches which has gotten worse - and they have had to conduct evacuations, some by boat. If you are in low lying areas below the College Lake Dam, you should move to higher ground immediately.

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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.

All eyes are on College Lake Dam, just down from the University of Lynchburg in Virginia. The dam has been under survey by the city for years as a safety hazard. The original surface area of the lake was reported to be 44 acres and has been reduced to 19 acres due to sedimentation. A flash flood watch remains in effect for much of central and western Virginia, while central Lynchburg is under a flash flood warning.

The following is a list of block ranges that would be affected in the event of a dam break. The school said it is open Friday, though its entrance on Lakeside Drive was closed.

Lynchburg is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, about 50 miles from Roanoke. Pets are also allowed.

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

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