College Lake Dam considered stable after conditions assessment

College Lake Dam considered stable after conditions assessment

Hundreds of people have been evacuated in Virginia after a National Weather Service (NWS) warning sparked fears of a dam burst.

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.

Officials in Lynchburg, in south-central Virginia, pronounced an endangered dam as "stable and safe" Friday afternoon, hours after they had warned the dam faced "imminent failure".

Turner Perrow, a member of the Lynchburg City Council who is also a civil engineer, tells NPR that the dam presents "a complicated problem". Local fire and police used boats to rescue people.

"Although water levels have decreased, the threat for dam failure continues", and emergency personnel will check for signs of structural failure, the weather service said Friday morning. The city knew the dam couldn't handle 2 feet of rain, the maximum it was supposed to be able to cope with, Perrow says.

The dam infrastructure is in a critical state after heavy downpours boosted water levels.

WDBJ reported that crews worked to evacuate 124 residences - in the city of 80,000 - on several roads near the dam.

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

Officials had warned late Thursday that its collapse would inundate parts of the city with 17 feet of water in just seven minutes.

The weather service issued a flash flood watch in effect until 6pm Friday, as additional showers and thunderstorms with heavy rain are possible.

The collapse of the dam would cause significant damage to homes and businesses.

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.

Forecasters say the area has received 3 to 6 inches of rain this week.