Myrtle Beach removes over 30 beaver dams in past year to avoid flooding
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach has nearly 90 miles of stormwater pipes, drainage systems and ponds, but they can get backed up when beavers build their dams.
The beaver dams can cause flooding and may require intervention.
WMBF News started looking into the issue after documents from a Freedom of Information Act request showed the city’s Public Works Department constantly having to remove beaver dams from stormwater areas.
Wildlife removal specialist, Russell Cavender, who is also known as “The Snake Chaser” said it can be easy to spot if a beaver has stopped by to get the tools needed to build a dam.
“You’re going to know you have a beaver because you’re going to wake up one morning and your tree’s going to be laying on the ground,” Cavender said.
He added that he gets a couple dozen beaver calls a year.
“The most common issue with beavers is them chewing their trees, literally gnawing the trees to the ground and dragging them off into the water,” said Cavender. “Secondly, it would be damming, blocking off retention ponds and drainage ditches and that kind of thing.”
This is an issue the city of Myrtle Beach is all too familiar with.
According to spokesperson Mark Kruea, the city has removed 12 beaver dams in the last three months, and over 30 in the past year.
“We have the water flowing, but the beavers (have) cut down trees,” said Kruea. “They’ll build a dam and create a pond for themselves to enjoy, but that stops the water from flowing in our stormwater system.”
Whenever this happens, the city takes action and removes the dams, but besides that, there is very little they can do.
“Beavers are one of those animals that are very difficult to relocate because they are notorious for returning, and because they cause so much property damage, sometimes you have to euthanize them,” Cavender explained.
Cavender added that preventative measures are, a lot of times, the best bet.
“If you have beavers chewing on your trees, you can just take exterior latex paint and mix it in with sand, take a paintbrush and brush the bottom of your tree up to about three or four feet, and they’ll never chew on your tree again,” said Cavender.
For those who want to remove beavers without using the euthanization, Cavendar suggested calling a professional who can trap the beaver without killing it.
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