13 homes evacuated over concerns Virginia dam may fail

Credit: WDBJ7
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ROANOKE, Va. (AP/WDBJ7) — People living in 13 homes in southwestern Virginia have received an evacuation order because a dam may fail from heavy rains.

The homes are in southwest Roanoke and near the Spring Valley Dam. The dam forms a creek-fed lake called Spring Valley Lake.

People living downstream received phone calls from the city through their Reverse 911 system.

But the city said that Roanoke Fire-EMS personnel also went door to door.

The dam is privately owned by various entities, which have been in contact with Fire-EMS.

Roanoke’s Stormwater Utility’s online precipitation app said the area has received 7.6 inches of rain since Tuesday.

The city has also evacuated 60 structures in southeast Roanoke, and is now looking at the Ramada Inn and a daycare center near Carilion Roanoke Memorial to possibly evacuate.

City officials say these kinds of evacuations are rare for the city. The American Red Cross has been utilizing hotel rooms for evacuations.

The city has brought in a GSI mapping specialist to help anticipate the flood threat to map it out for potential evacuations.

The following areas are affected:

-3600 block of Cravens Creek Rd., SW to the 4000 block of Cravens Creek Rd., SW
-4000 block of Lake Dr.SW
-1400 block of Deyerle Rd., SW
-4000-4100 block of Brandon Ave., SW

Residents in this affected are advised to:

1. Evacuate now and go to higher ground outside the flood plain.

2. Gather supplies and leave immediately. Determine you and your family's specific needs such as medication, baby items, etc. Don't forget the needs of pets. Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.

3. Keep important documents in a waterproof container and take them with you.

4. Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters.