1. #1
    Senior Member
    Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000

    Default Another FD Job: Beaver Duty.

    Beavers have become a *huge* problem in MA since a referendum outlawed trapping about 10 years ago.

    Oakham culvert flows free again

    Beaver blamed for road flooding on southbound lane of Route 122

    By Bradford L. Miner Telegram & Gazette Staff

    State highway crews and local firefighters spent several hours Friday clearing a culvert beneath Route 122 that had been blocked by beavers, resulting in flooding of the southbound lane of the road. (BRADFORD L. MINER)
    Enlarge photo


    OAKHAM— Leave it to beaver.

    A one-day January thaw last Thursday nudged temperatures into the upper 50s throughout the region and melted most of the snow, bringing river and stream levels up sharply.

    The increase in water flow, coupled with a culvert beneath Route 122 craftily blocked by beaver, resulted Friday in the flooding of the southbound lane of the roadway for several hundred yards.

    Police Chief Donald A. Haapakoski said yesterday the flooded roadway posed an inconvenience to motorists when the main road from Barre to Worcester was closed for six hours Friday afternoon and evening.

    The asphalt road surface was not damaged, as it was nearly seven years ago to the day when a beaver dam on state property gave way, sending a torrent of water a foot deep, eroding both sides of the state highway downstream of Parker Brook and carrying away large chunks of pavement.

    Yesterday morning, water was flowing unrestricted through the culvert, with a single orange highway cone against the southbound lane guardrail the only indication of any problem.

    An inch or so of snow Sunday night had covered the tracks of the heavy equipment used to stabilize the banking on the west, or upstream, side of the road beneath high-tension power lines.

    Chief Haapakoski said at the height of the flooding, several inches of water covered about a quarter-mile of the southbound lane north of the power lines.

    “A crew from Mass Highway came out and attempted to remove the material the beaver had used to block the culvert. It turned out to be a bigger job than they first realized, and we closed Route 122 at Coldbrook to the north and Old Turnpike roads to the south, creating a detour,” the chief said.

    He said the road began to flood about noon and was not reopened until after 10 p.m.

    The police chief said the Oakham Fire Department had a crew at the scene with a pumper and a lighting unit.

    “Blasting through the culvert with high-pressure hoses proved to be unsuccessful. Once a fair amount of debris had been removed from the culvert, highway personnel cut down a large-diameter tree and used it literally as a ram to unblock the culvert,” he said.

    Once the water receded and was passing through the culvert unimpeded, heavy equipment was used to backfill the gravel that had been eroded from the upstream side of the road.
    IACOJ Canine Officer

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Pt. Beach, NJ


    Dal, just not what I "hoped" it would be about.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    LeuitEFDems's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Egremont, The Bizerkshires, MA


    The conservation commission here would have a field day with this one. Heaven forbid the beaver's dams are ever disturbed We had a "wonderful time trying to get a few dams taken care of here.
    The comments made by me are my opinions only, not of the Fire and EMS services I am affiliated with.

    I have lost my mind..has anyone seen it? it's not worth much..but it's mine

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