Power lines and a tree block Rainbow Forest Road during a thunderstorm, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018 in Lynchburg, Va. The National Weather Service said up to six inches of rain fell within hours, filling College Lake near Lynchburg beyond capacity. The service says a failure of the College Lake Dam could flood parts of Lynchburg with 17 feet of water in just seven minutes. (Taylor Irby /The News & Advance via AP)

Parts of Virginia city evacuate over possible dam failure

August 03, 2018 - 1:00 pm

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Emergency personnel in Virginia are examining a dam for potential failure and a flash flood warning has been extended until this evening, the National Weather Service said Friday.

The service said the flash flood warning for Lynchburg will last until 6 p.m. and could be extended later.

Heavy rains Thursday filled College Lake near Lynchburg beyond capacity, prompting officials to report that the lake's dam was in danger of "imminent failure."

The weather service said Friday that water levels have decreased but the "the threat of for dam failure continues."

The service says a failure of dam could flood parts of Lynchburg with 17 feet (5 meters) of water in just seven minutes.

Officials evacuated people from more than 100 homes in the city of 80,000. Local fire and police used boats to rescue people.

Several streets were closed as of Friday morning and city officials asked residents not to drive around barricades or through standing water.

The University of Lynchburg, which sits next to College Lake, is open Friday. Its main entrance is closed and visitors are asked to use back entrances to campus.

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