PIPERS GAP, Va. — Evacuations have been called off in the Pipers Gap area of Carroll County after work by engineering crews relieved pressure on a dam feared ready to break.
The evacuations, which began at approximately 3:30 p.m. Thursday, were cancelled at 2:20 p.m. Friday after the work successfully allowed for some of the water in a private pond formed by the dam to run off, or be pumped out, relieving pressure on the structure.
Carroll County Emergency Services Coordinator Everette Lineberry said work remains but it has been determined the emergency has passed and all roads are open and people are being allowed back in their homes.
The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies are anticipating the arrival of an engineer to make a determination on further action to take on erosion of the dam.
The situation began Thursday, when Carroll County Sheriff J.B. Gardner said on Thursday a safety regional engineer was at the scene at an address in the 2100 block of Pipers Gap Road where a dam above a private pond had cracked and started to give way. At that time, Gardner reported there had been a lot of erosion and if a dam break occurred, the initial wave of water released could be as deep as 10 feet following Pipers Gap toward Galax and Chestnut Creek.
Before 2 p.m. Friday afternoon, Gardner said the landowner had crews on site which cut two drainage ditches to help channel the water being pumped out of the pond. He said even though a lot of water has been pumped out of the pond, there is a lot remaining. Two 600-gallon-a-minute water pumps have been used over night and throughout Friday to alleviate pressure on the dam.
On Thursday, Pipers Gap Road was closed from Highway 89 to Whitney Lane until further notice. Travelers were told to use an alternate route.
The National Weather Service also issued a Flash Flood Warning for the potential dam break in Southwestern Carroll County, the City of Galax, and Southeastern Grayson County on Thursday to be in effect until 9:30 p.m.