Beaver Dams Make Flooding Worse in Pender County


Some of the heavy flooding in Pender County could have been prevented if it were not for the beaver dams.

"I walked through the woods back there and it's just beaver dam after beaver dam," said Will Edwards of Pender County.

The beaver dams blocked the flow of water throughout rivers and creeks in the county.  They stopped everything from branches and trees to water vegetation from moving downstream.

Because the land in Pender County is so flat, a couple of beaver dams can back up the flood water for acres and acres.  But the problem is more than just a couple of beaver dams.

"Beaver trappers here in the county take out between 100 to 150 beaver dams every year," said Wayne Batton of the Pender County Agricultural Department.

There were only two beaver trappers for the entire county.  On top of that, they said the dams were almost impossible to get to.

"A lot of the dams in the county are inaccessible because of water vegetation primarily alligator weed that we can't even go through it," Batton said.

Officials are now relying on a South American beetle to eat those weeds, so they can clear the dams and the creeks for the next storm.

But residents in Pender County said they were fed up with the slow response from the County in clearing the dams.

"I wish somebody would come out here and clear the beaver dam.  It's so thick in there you can't even get down into the creek anymore," said Edwards.  "But it's just one of those things I don't think the state's ever going to do. It'll probably just get worse over the years."

Reported by Kim Gebbia