If the Hargus Lake Dam fails, first in line downstream is Ohio Christian University. Next is the Pickaway County Fairgrounds. Then come homes and businesses in Circleville, population about 14,000.
The dam about 30 miles south of Columbus is among more than 100 dams in Ohio rated in poor or unsatisfactory condition that are classified as “high-hazard” because lives and property would be threatened if the dam overflows. Ohio has the fourth highest number of such dams among the 43 states and Puerto Rico, whose dams The Associated Press has studied in a national investigation.