Beaver dams pose Prairie Crossing pond flooding hazard

2012-12-25T17:47:00Z 2012-12-25T21:14:10Z Beaver dams pose Prairie Crossing pond flooding hazardLu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent
December 25, 2012 5:47 pm  • 

WINFIELD | To prepare for winter, beavers have been felling trees and building an extensive dam structure in a retention pond adjacent to the Prairie Crossing subdivision at the corner of 114th Place and Knox Street.

The Town Council and Storm Water Board have received a number of complaints about the beavers over the past several months.

Building activity by the nocturnal, semi-aquatic rodents is causing a potential flooding hazard, said Timothy Clayton, president of the Winfield Storm Water Board.

Prairie Crossing resident Derek VanTichelt asked that the issue be put on this month's Storm Water Board agenda.

The VanTichelt home backs up to the pond.

“The wife is concerned about the beavers. The husband is concerned about the flooding,” said Jim Simmons, board vice president and a member of the Winfield Town Council.

The beavers’ dams, which extend far below the pond’s surface, could interfere with the movement of cleaned sanitary sewer water and stormwater.

“We need to be proactive on this,” Clayton said.

However, removing the beavers and their structures requires permits from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, advised Adam Sworden, attorney with Austgen, Kuiper & Associates of Crown Point.

In addition to the massive dam structure, the animals themselves are very large. The beaver is the largest North American rodent, according to the National Geographic website. Both males and females can measure 4 feet long and weigh more than 70 pounds.

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