Potential Dam Failure for Blyllesby/Buck Hydroelectric Dams
The National Weather Service in Blacksburg has issued a Flash Flood Watch for Wythe County, specifically the areas of Ivanhoe and Austinville. The watch was issued in response to a notification from American Electric Power (AEP) regarding developing problems at the Byllesby/Buck Hydroelectric Dams on the New River.
Residents of Ivanhoe, Austinville and those in low lying areas along the New River are advised to monitor local forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued. The watch will remain in effect through the morning of Friday, February 1, 2013.
The state of the dams is currently a Condition B, which means that there is a potential dam failure at one or both of the dams. An imminent failure is not expected at this time, but the dam operators have been unable to access the dam due to flooding in the area.
The New River is already in flood conditions due to the extremely heavy rains from January 30. A failure of either of these dams would increase flows on the New River but how much is uncertain at this time.
Wythe County is working to ensure the safety of the residents of these communities and the eastern portion of the County by taking necessary precautions. More information will be relayed to residents as it is made available to County Administration.