Engineers work to keep Lynchburg dam stabilized

Engineers work to keep Lynchburg dam stabilized

Engineers work to keep Lynchburg dam stabilized

Heavy rains have caused flooding in Lynchburg, Virginia, prompting officials to order evacuations out of fears that a weakened dam could break and cover the city in several feet of water.

According to Lynchburg Water Resources, College Lake Dam is considered stable after a conditions assessment was preformed Friday afternoon.

Crews are assessing the damage to the College Lake Dam in Lynchburg Friday morning. with more rain in the forecast.

The service said county officials reported the dam's "imminent failure" at around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

Heavy rains and flash floods have struck a wide swath of the country from the Carolinas to New England.

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

The weather service said that College Lake was at "near capacity" after up to 15 centimetres of rain fell on Thursday evening (Friday NZT). The area impacted would be the city of Lynchburg, which is one mile downstream from the dam. The Virginia Department of Transportation built it in 1934.

The Lynchburg Sheriff's Office says the E.C. Glass High School auditorium is available for any residents who are evacuating their homes. Since then, the city has continued to analyze the dam to determine how to move forward. Liberty University, the Christian university founded by Jerry Falwell, is also located in Lynchburg.

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.

A deluge of rain in Virginia has prompted hundreds of people living below an overflowing dam to be evacuated from their homes.

There is some good news in the forecast: Following two weeks of relentlessly wet weather in the eastern US, a drier weather pattern will move in over the weekend and into early next week, AccuWeather said.

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