Officials ask evacuees not to return yet over flooding fears


Associated Press

LYNCHBURG, Va.

Officials in Virginia say a dam that overflowed Thursday is currently stable but are asking people who were evacuated to stay out of their homes until there’s dry weather.

Lynchburg city officials said at a news conference Friday that the engineers had found that College Lake Dam was not in danger of failing.

But officials said they would like to get through another possible storm and re-evaluate the dam today before giving residents the all clear to return home.

“We’re still concerned about its overall stability going into tonight and tomorrow morning,” said Tim Mitchell, the city’s director of water resources. “But we are pretty confident at this point that the dam is stable and safe.”

The National Weather Service had a flash flood watch in effect through Friday evening. Weather forecasts for Lynchburg call for more rain through today with sunny weather Sunday.

Heavy rains Thursday filled College Lake beyond capacity, prompting officials to report that the lake’s dam was in danger of “imminent failure.” The service says a failure of the dam could flood parts of Lynchburg with 17 feet of water in just seven minutes.

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