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JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – Some residents in Jefferson County were asked to evacuate their homes Friday night, due to problems at a dam.  The dam on a small private lake, just south of Hillsboro off Castle Ranch Road, has weakened enough that authorities are worried it could break before the water level is lowered.

The property around this lake has been unattended for several years.  But luckily, someone happened to be walking on the property Friday and noticed the leaky dam. They immediately contacted the Sheriff’s Department.

After looking at pictures of this dam, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources deemed the situation urgent enough to fix immediately.  DNR crews are using a backhoe to start a controlled release of water from this 6-acre lake.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – DeSoto Rural Fire Protection District Lt. John Scullin says, “Some of the residents have reported it’s been in bad shape for many years, but with the recent rain, it may have caused it to be a little more important of a situation, and the only thing holding the water back at this point, believe it or not, is a beaver dam, and there’s about a 20-foot ravine on the back side of the beaver dam, where the water’s slowly leaking out. “

The area in danger of flooding is on Murral Branch Creek, and there about 40 homes and properties at risk.  Sara Payton has several horses on one of these properties.  She says, “You know, you always get a little worried about it, but I’m sure it’ll probably be just fine. They’re all reassuring us that it’ll be ok.”