Lynchburg residents evacuated as flood waters overtop dam

Screengrab of video showing College Lake Dam overflowing with

Screengrab of video showing College Lake Dam overflowing with

The dam was deemed intact Friday morning, CNN reported, although water has continued to cascade over the dam and into Blackwater Creek, which is two miles from downtown Lynchburg. Water is now overflowing from the lake.

College Lake Dam, in Lynchburg, Virginia, was on the brink of failure on Friday due to recently heavy rainfall.

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

Almost a hundred people have been evacuated from their homes in Lynchburg, Va., after an intense storm amid concerns that an aging dam might fail and unleash unsafe floodwaters.

"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. Local fire and police used boats to rescue people.

City officials said they found no seepage Friday and the dam was considered stable.

In 2014, engineers began surveying College Lake Dam as the result of a study determining the dam could not handle the flow of water expected during severe weather conditions, creating a safety hazard for residents who live below the dam.

According to the City of Lynchburg, Lakeside Drive from Old Forest Road to Moorman Drive, will be closed until further notice.

It was feared that if the dam did fail and collapse, water would flood from the creek into the James River, which is close to the city's business district. But the crew monitoring the dam last night raised concerns about structural integrity after just about six inches of rain. A flash flood watch was in effect until 11 a.m.

Parts of that area saw three to five inches of rain in a three hour span.

That will relieve pressure on the damaged dam and aid in repairs.

The city near the Blue Ridge Mountains has received plenty of runoff from recent rains, and 4 to 6 inches of rain fell in the area Thursday evening, filling College Lake beyond its capacity.

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