Beavers causing flooding concerns for Elizabeth City neighborhood

Posted at 5:46 PM, Jan 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-04 18:37:13-05

Elizabeth City, N.C. - Driving into his Oxford Heights neighborhood a couple days ago, Recardo Boyd noticed things didn't look right on nearby Knobbs Creek.

"The water has been rising a lot," Boyd said.

At first, he chalked it up to all the rain they've been dealing with.  But it turns out - there's more to it.

"When we have a rain event, it may go up six inches, maybe a foot, but then it dissipates.  It's not dissipating anymore," said City Manager Richard Olsen.

The problem is some beavers that recently moved in.

It has been an issue in the area in the past, but that was almost a decade ago.

At this point, the beavers' dams have caused the water to rise 18 inches to two feet higher than normal in some spots, which could impact the neighborhood.

"When the water does start to rise, it does affect a number of property owners," said Olsen.

Even those who don't live right along the water say it could affect them too.

"A couple days ago it was flooded enough to where the water came up to the bottom of the bridge, so it was kind of concerning," said Boyd.

Boyd says that bridge is the only way into the neighborhood.

Some traps have already been set up, and once the beavers are out of the area, crews will go back in and get rid of the dams.

"Usually because of where they're located they tend to blow those dams up to let the water flow through," said Olsen.

He says it's expected to take about three to four weeks to get everything back to normal.