Evacuation orders have been issued in parts of Lynchburg, Virginia, over fears a dam could fail amid unusually heavy rainfall.
The College Lake Dam exceeded its capacity after up to 6in (15cm) of rain fell on Thursday evening, Lynchburg Water Resources Department said.
The city of Lynchburg is the closest settlement downstream of the structure.
If the dam fails completely, 17ft (5m) of water could flood it in seven minutes, the National Water Service said.
#VIDEO Flash flooding in Virginia bring dam in danger of 'imminent failure.' A failure of the College Lake Dam could flood parts of Lynchburg with 17 feet of water in just seven minutes. pic.twitter.com/sbhZuwqAiT
— TVW News (@tvwnewsindia) August 3, 2018
Lynchburg has a population of about 80,000 and lies in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
NEWS – PEOPLE IN VIRGINIA, USA INSTRUCTED TO EVACUATE AS FLOOD WARNINGS ARE TRIGGERED – The people of Lynchburg, Virginia are being told to move away from the city's Dam. If instructed to do so, people should evacuate from downstream areas of the College Lake Dam immediately pic.twitter.com/RrdFGa5SPA
— GD travel (@GDTraveltips) August 3, 2018
“This remains a dangerous situation!” said the National Weather Service report.
“Obey all orders by emergency personnel if instructed to evacuate the area downstream of the College Lake Dam.”
AHEAD: @CBSThisMorning is in Lynchburg, Virginia where a potential dam failure is forcing people from their homes. If it breaks, the entire city could be under 17 feet of water in just seven minutes. pic.twitter.com/QQJ7Lq7rOL
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 3, 2018
“More rain is expected across the area through Friday, which can keep the dam failure risk high,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun.