Authorities Monitor Dam as Flooding Hits Lynchburg Area

Authorities Monitor Dam as Flooding Hits Lynchburg Area

"At this time, the dam has not failed and is being closely monitored by emergency personnel for any signs of structural failure", the weather service said in a statement.

Firemen waded through flood waters on Thursday in Lynchburg.

"The good news is that the rain has stopped and began to recede yesterday, relieving some of the pressure on the dam", Major Tommy Carter of the Lynchburg Sheriff's office told Fox News on Friday, "but the bad news is that there's more rain in the forecast today and the dam has been weakened".

Local fire and police used boats to rescue people.

She said the plan next was to open a 3-foot by 3-foot sluice in order to lower reservoir levels to make it more safe.

The west-central Virginia city near the Blue Ridge Mountains has received plenty of runoff from recent rains, with 4 to 6 inches falling in the area Thursday evening and filling College Lake beyond its capacity.

Lynchburg floods: Flooding dam sparks evacuations in US city

Rain has saturated parts of the East for days, with flash-flood watches in effect for millions from Georgia to Vermont.

The deluge of rain that affected much of Virginia on Thursday, causing road closures and power outages in the Shenandoah Valley, has prompted evacuations in Lynchburg, just below an overflowing dam. The Virginia Department of Transportation built it in 1934. 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.

But there was good news on Friday as engineers examined the dam and said it survived in good shape.

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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