College Lake Dam ‘stable’ after heavy rain

Emergency crews monitor water flow at the College Lake Dam near Lynchburg Virginia after flash flooding in the area

A dire warning from the National Weather Service has forced an evacuation around the College Lake Dam in Lynchburg, Virginia.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flood warning for the Black Creek Trail Area, around a mile from the city, at around 9.30pm until 3.15pm local time (8.15pm BST).

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". They were still looking for signs of structural failure early Friday as water kept spilling over the dam, threatening about 124 houses in the city of 80,000. "We have about 130 people in one of our shelters, and about 25 in another shelter", she said, adding that engineers with the city's Water Resources Department were in the midst of conducting a dam inspection. It is host to several institutions of higher education, including the University of Lynchburg and Liberty University.

Firemen waded through flood waters on Thursday in Lynchburg.

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Since 2014, the City Council has been considering options for repairing or replacing the dam.

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 earthen dam was intact Friday morning, the weather service said in an update, but water has been moving over it and into Blackwater Creek about 2 miles southwest of downtown Lynchburg. In all, some 26 million people live where a flash flood watch is in effect.

This area is right near the University of Lynchburg.

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The lake is the largest urban lake in Lynchburg.

"12 to eight inches of water is flowing over Lakeside Drive into Blackwater Creek". The original surface area of the lake was reported to be 44 acres and has been reduced to 19 acres due to sedimentation.

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

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