If Dam Fails, Flooded City Will Be Under 17 Feet of Water

06 August, 2018, 02:03 | Author: Carlos George
  • Lynchburg floods: Flooding dam sparks evacuations in US city

A flash flood watch is in effect in the area until 11 a.m.

Lynchburg Director of Water Resources Tim Mitchell said at a 3 p.m. news conference that the dam would continue to be watched around the clock.

Late Thursday, officials began evacuating residents in threatened areas close to the dam.

Lynchburg, with a population of around 80,000, is home to a number of colleges and universities, including the University of Lynchburg (previously Lynchburg College), which owns the lake the dam is located on.

A deluge of rain in Virginia has prompted evacuations below an overflowing dam in Lynchburg.

Officials in Lynchburg said it could be at least 24 hours before people evacuated from more than 100 houses could return.

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Local fire and police sent boats to rescue people to area shelters, including E.C.Glass High School and Sandusky Middle School. The city said it would open a gate in the spillway on Saturday to drain some of the water from the reservoir before fix work could begin on the dam and roadway. The lake behind it is filled with silt, which complicates potential solutions - if they removed the dam, for instance, they would need to ensure that the silt didn't cause other problems downstream.

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

"Three to 6 inches of rain have fallen across the area since the afternoon of July 29, with the heaviest falling in the towns of Timberlake and Forest", Rathbun said. Hunt said it was hard to say how much of the city would be affected by the dam water, because the city has a creek system that meanders through different parts of the municipality.

Because the sediment from the city's runoff is trapped above the dam, the lake has dramatically reduced in size.

The heavy rain in Virginia is part of a sprawling weather system bringing the threat of flooding all the way from the Carolinas to New England.

The lake is the largest urban lake in Lynchburg.

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