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A failure of the College Lake Dam near Lynchburg could flood the city with five metres of water in seven minutes, news outlets reported Thursday evening, citing statements from the National Weather Service (NSW).

County officials reported the dam's "imminent failure" at around 9:30 p.m. Thursday, August 2. The dam "is being closely monitored ... for any signs of structural failure" as another inch or so of rain is expected Friday near Lynchburg, 50 miles east of Roanoke, according to the National Weather Service.

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

Carter explained that they were already dealing with floods from days of rain - more than six inches which has gotten worse - and they have had to conduct evacuations, some by boat. The dam has been under survey by the city for years as a safety hazard.

8 of 459AP Evacuation-Heavy Rain-Virginia The College Lake Dam which runs under Lakeside Drive in Lynchburg, Va.is at risk of failing.

In Lynchburg, they are still a little bit anxious because there is rain in the forecast that the water will add to the water in the reservoir and put pressure on this dam.

College Lake sits adjacent to the University of Lynchburg, and the dam was built in 1934 by the Virginia Department of Highways.

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 lake's ecosystem is degrading rapidly, the school reports, as it fills with sediment, nutrients and raw sewage, resulting in the rapid development of watershed and stormwater management problems. The road, now USA 221, needed expansion and improvement.

The Black Water Creek Trail is also closed until further notice.

The city of Lynchburg is the closest settlement downstream of the structure.