College Lake is a manmade lake, built in the early 1930s by the Virginia Department of Highways as part of the development of U.S. Highway 460, west of Lynchburg.
"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. City officials posted pictures Thursday of rescuers using a raft to take families from a flood-threatened apartment complex as well as the partial collapse of one road into an adjacent creek.
Recommendations from the investigation called for either rehabilitating the dam or having it completely decommissioned. The dam has been under survey by the city for years as a safety hazard.
Jen Gearing, the public information officer for Lynchburg Water Resources, told TheBlaze on Friday, "We've done the preliminary engineering analysis, weighing our options and balancing them with budget constraints". If you are in low lying areas below the College Lake Dam, you should move to higher ground immediately.
And every proposed fix would cost millions of dollars.
Speaking from Lynchburg, CBS's Chip Reid warned the eastern American city could be flooded within 7 minutes. "But [the dam] is in compliance". Officials are working to create a plan to keep the dam stabilized which may include opening the sluice gate to reduce the water levels.
A press conference is scheduled to be held at 3 p.m. for an update.
Then, Gearing said, workers can stabilize the bridge in preparation for the next storm approaching.