Florala: Dam those beavers

Published 12:05 am Thursday, August 16, 2012



Forget politics. There’s a new battle brewing in Florala – the city versus the beavers.

For decades, the animals have constructed dams in the area behind the old county yard on Ninth Street, near Florala High School, causing water to build up. Every 60 to 90 days, city workers have removed the beaver dams, but now local residents say recent heaving rains are causing the water to flow back onto their properties.

Monday, the city council voted to declare the beaver dams a public nuisance and to try to hire someone to remove the animals from the property.

“We’ve been busting the dams and draining the property for years,” said the city street superintendent Cliff Prescott. “What happens is it backs up waters on numerous properties. The more rain we have, the worse it is.”

Prescott said the area serves as a natural drain for the north end of the city. In previous years, culverts were used to drain the property.

“When those culverts were gone, the beavers moved in, and they’ve been there ever since,” he said.

Prescott said the city has received permission from the state to dispose of the animals during the day, but the nocturnal animals have never given crews an opportunity.

Now, the only recourse is have them removed from the property.

“I’ve never known a beaver to work during day, so now trappers are our only option,” Prescott said. “Us removing (the dams) over and over is not really accomplishing anything.

“I’ve never seen a beaver out there, but I know they’re there,” he said. “I don’t have any idea how many are out there – no idea.”

In other business, the council:

• voted to install a street light at the city yard;

• to paint paw prints up Ninth Street, leading to FHS;

• reappointed Fontella Thompson to the city’s recreational board; and,

• certified election results for unopposed council members Gloria Cassady, Marvin Williford and Debra Inabinett.