Lynchburg residents evacuated as flood waters overtop dam

Emergency crews monitor water flow at the College Lake Dam near Lynchburg Virginia after flash flooding in the area

The service says a failure of the College Lake Dam could flood parts of Lynchburg with 17 feet of water in just seven minutes, flooding many areas along Blackwater Creek.

County officials, who reported the College Lake Dam was near collapse late Thursday, continued to look for signs of structural failure Friday as water continued to spill over the structure.

Some 124 homes in Lynchburg, Va., are under evacuation orders with intense flooding in the region.

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.

Were authorities previously aware of the danger?

"About 200yards down that hill is a dam, behind that dam is a reservoir, College Lake".

The city of Lynchburg is the closest settlement downstream of the structure.

The dam was intact Friday morning, the weather service said in an update, but water has been moving over it and into Blackwater Creek about 2 miles southwest of downtown Lynchburg. One touched down last night in the New York City borough of Queens.

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Recommendations from the investigation called for either rehabilitating the dam or having it completely decommissioned.

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

Jen Gearing, the public information officer for Lynchburg Water Resources, told TheBlaze on Friday, "We've done the preliminary engineering analysis, weighing our options and balancing them with budget constraints".

And every proposed fix would cost millions of dollars.

But "high hazard" refers to the level of risk such as loss of life or economic damage if a breach were to occur, according to the report.

Speaking from Lynchburg, CBS's Chip Reid warned the eastern American city could be flooded within 7 minutes.

Four to six inches of rain were said to have fallen overnight.

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

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