Monday, 19 November, 2018

Lynchburg residents evacuated as flood waters overtop dam

Authorities warn 5 meters of water could hit Lynchburg in Virginia in minutes if a dam overspills AOL Authorities warn 5 meters of water could hit Lynchburg in Virginia in minutes if a dam overspills
Ebony Burgess | 04 August, 2018, 22:19

The News & Advance reports 12 to 18 inches of water were flowing out of the dam, over a road, and into a creek after three inches of rain fell in a single hour.

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

The National Weather Service said that a failure of the College Lake Dam could flood parts of Lynchburg with as much 17 feet (5 meters) of water in just seven minutes.

Heavy rains sent water spilling over a dam in Lynchburg, Virginia, spurring fears that it could collapse, but Friday officials said the 84-year-old structure was "currently stable and. there is no immediate fear of dam failure".

Local fire and police were sending boats to rescue people and take them to area shelters.

The Lynchburg Sheriff's Office says the E.C. Glass High School auditorium is available for any residents who are evacuating their homes.

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

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Flash flood warnings and watches stretch from Georgia to Maine. The Virginia Department of Transportation built it in 1934.

But there was good news on Friday as engineers examined the dam and said it survived in good shape.

The dam doesn't meet current regulations and the city is making it a priority to find a solution.

In 2011, Virginia's Department of Conservation and Recreation identified the College Lake Dam as one of the state's "high-hazard" dams. The city of Lynchburg owns the dam and is responsible for its upkeep. The lake behind it is filled with silt, which complicates potential solutions - if they removed the dam, for instance, they would need to ensure that the silt didn't cause other problems downstream.

Overnight, city officials monitored the dam for structural weaknesses.

And every proposed fix would cost millions of dollars.

He said that they were now focused on evacuations and road closures near and around the dam, warning that more could be on the way.

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