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

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flood warning for the Black Creek Trail Area, around a mile from the city, at around 9.30pm until 3.15pm local time (8.15pm BST).

"Although water levels have decreased, the threat for dam failure continues", and emergency personnel will check for signs of structural failure, the weather service said Friday morning.

A flash flood warning is now in place and 80,000 people in Virginia, USA, have been ordered to move to higher ground immediately.

Water damage restoration and cleaning services have reported being inundated with calls for help from Lynchburg and surrounding area residents who have already returned to their homes.

Some 124 homes in Lynchburg, Va., are under evacuation orders with intense flooding in the region.

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Authorities warn 5 meters of water could hit Lynchburg in Virginia in minutes if a dam overspills.

The dam was built in the 1930s by the Virginia Department of Highways and is now listed among "high hazard dams" in need of fix in Virginia. The Virginia Department of Transportation built it in 1934.

There is some good news in the forecast: Following two weeks of relentlessly wet weather in the eastern USA, a drier weather pattern will move in over the weekend and into early next week, AccuWeather said. The original surface area of the lake was reported to be 44 acres and has been reduced to 19 acres due to sedimentation.

According to the City of Lynchburg, Lakeside Drive from Old Forest Road to Moorman Drive, will be closed until further notice. Pets are also allowed.

"We have about 130 people in one of our shelters, and about 25 in another shelter", she said, adding that engineers with the city's Water Resources Department were in the midst of conducting a dam inspection.


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