Wednesday, 22 August, 2018

"Imminent failure" possible of College Lake Dam

Emergency evacuations ordered over dam burst fears SCREENGRAB ABC13 NEWS EMERGENCY Thousands have been ordered to evacuate their homes over fears of a dam burst
Leonard Rios | 04 August, 2018, 00:32

Authorities near Lynchburg in the U.S. state of Virginia sought to evacuate more than 100 people after weather forecasters warned that heavy rainfall could cause a dam to fail and flood the city.

Lynchburg, Virginia officials ordered evacuations Thursday in the area of Black Creek Trail over fears of the College Lake Dam will fail in the heavy flooding.

Water is now overflowing from the lake.

Parts of Lynchburg, Virginia, have been evacuated as floodwaters have compromised the integrity of a dam upstream.

Local fire and police sent boats to rescue people to area shelters late Thursday as some creeks were already feeling the overflow from the dam. Twelve to 18 inches of water are flowing over Lakeside Drive into Blackwater Creek.

Piper Van dePerre, with the Lynchburg Department of Emergency Services, told WDBJ that officials planned to evacuate more than 100 residents.

The flash flood warning for the area has been extended to 6 p.m.

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Lynchburg has a population of about 80,000 and lies in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The dam at College Lake, adjacent to the University of Lynchburg, was built in 1934, according to the school's website.

Lynchburg Water Resources is working with the University of Lynchburg to deal with this situation.

The dam was built in the early '30s and, like many dams in the US, doesn't meet current safety standards. Since then, the city has continued to analyze the dam to determine how to move forward.

The lake's ecosystem is degrading rapidly, the school reports, as it fills with sediment, nutrients and raw sewage, resulting in the rapid development of watershed and stormwater management problems.

The City of Lynchburg has created an interactive map to see if you're in a potential flooding area should the College Lake Dam fail. The National Weather Service said up to 15 centimetres of rain fell within hours, filling the dam beyond capacity.

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