Crews assessing damage to College Lake Dam in Lynchburg

04 August, 2018, 22:20 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Lynchburg floods: Flooding dam sparks evacuations in US city

"Currently, they have found no seepage at the dam so it is considered stable", Jes Gearing, public information officer for Lynchburg Water Resources, said in a statement emailed to NPR.

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.

Piper Van De Perre, the spokeswoman for the city's Department of Emergency Services, told CNN affiliate WDBJ-TV early Friday morning that crews were targeting a list of 124 homes for evacuation that are at imminent threat of dam breach.

A flash flood watch is in effect in the area until 11 a.m.

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.

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.

In Lynchburg, they are still a little bit anxious because there is rain in the forecast that the water will add to the water in the reservoir and put pressure on this dam.

But there was good news on Friday as engineers examined the dam and said it survived in good shape. It is located in a critical position, according to the university, for capturing surface waters from multiple sources of the Blackwater Creek watershed just before emptying into the James River. The city of Lynchburg owns the dam and is responsible for its upkeep.

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

"I am hoping that we go back home soon, but I am a little scared to see if there's any damage or how much there is", said Lynchburg resident Fallyn Phillips.

Since 2014, the City Council has been considering options for repairing or replacing the dam.

And every proposed fix would cost millions of dollars.

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