Crews battling beaver dams to fix drainage problems in Central
CENTRAL – Department of Public Works crews in Central stayed busy clearing out waterways and fixing drainage issues ahead of storms heading this way. The reason for the problems: beaver dams.
“It’s one of the biggest ones I've ever seen,” said Mayor David Barrow. “Above water it’s probably 4 to 5 feet. A good 8 to 10 feet wide as well.”
Barrow said they first noticed a massive beaver dam in Shoe Creek a few weeks ago when homeowners noticed water in the creek started to rise too close to comfort.
“The last heavy rain we had, it backed up more than it did in the flood,” said James Quesada. “It’s concerning when you're seeing water, over 2 inches of rain, back up toward your house.”
To fix that, DPW crews brought in an excavator to remove the dam. The beaver’s diligent work was so compact the heavy machinery had to dip under the water to pull it all out. Once the tree limbs were gone water starting flowing again downstream.
“You can see the water line where it was up to basically the bottom of the trees, and now it’s dropped to almost nothing now,” said Barrow pointing out the water levels going down.
In total, DPW crews removed three dams in Shoe Creek. The mayor says the next step is to get permits. The city is looking to trap the beavers.
“We try to trap first and release but, wherever you release the beavers, if they're a nuisance, they'll just build more dams,” said Barrow.
More dams means more drainage problems.
“It’s south Louisiana, jut one of the many things you have to deal with,” said Barrow.
For now, homeowners are happy to see the water in Shoe Creek low again.