Possible dam failure threatens parts of Virginia

Heavy rains have prompted authorities to evacuate parts of a central Virginia city in case a dam fails and floods the area.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said up to 15 centimetres of rain fell within hours Thursday evening, filling College Lake near Lynchburg beyond capacity.

The service said a failure of the College Lake Dam could flood parts of Lynchburg with 5 metres of water in just seven minutes.

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

Here's the latest images from the area near the dam:

The fears of the College Lake Dam failing come from the amount of rain from recent storms 1:01

Lynchburg has a population of about 80,000.

The Lynchburg Department of Emergency Services said areas near the dam were being evacuated Thursday night, although it was unclear how many people that involved.


Several roads already were flooded or closed at that time, with local fire and police departments sending out boats and squads to rescue people.

The NWS issued a flash flood watch for the area that lasts until 11 a.m. Friday.

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

A deluge of rain in Virginia has prompted evacuations below an overflowing dam in Lynchburg. The National Weather Service said up to 15 centimetres of rain fell within hours, filling the dam beyond capacity. (City of Lynchburg )

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