NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

May 2, 2013

Beavers cause problem with culvert


Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

This is in response to Joe Teixeira’s letter to you how I got it wrong about the Hale Street culverts.

To make good hay in the early summer, a farmer needs three sunny, rain-free days. My husband, Gene, and I were making hay on our property on Scotland Road. It had rained days before but on this day, the weather was perfect. We cut the hay and teaded it (fluffed it to dry) one day, teaded it the next day, and on the third day we raked it into rows ready to bale it. All of a sudden, the water starts coming down Little River and starts rising and rising. It flooded about 8 feet on each side of the brook destroying approximately 200 bales of hay. This was a loss to us of about $1,000.

We had no idea what was going on so started making calls. Gene called the Newburyport Highway Department and spoke with Allan Frost. Mr. Frost came to the field to see what had happened. Mr. Frost told Gene that the culvert near Cabot Stain had been blocked by beavers and that the Highway Department used to go out during the rain and make sure it was clear. Now due to costs, they wait until it backs up to Cabot Stain’s back door, then go out and open it up. This released the water and not at the normal flow as Mr. Teixeira suggests should be the case. We now make it a point to ride by this culvert to see if there is any backup that we need to take into account. We have no problem with the culvert at Comcast or at the I-95 overpass as discussed in Mr. Teixeira’s letter.

The culvert system may be a good thing if it works as designed, but when beavers get in the picture, all bets are off. Budget restraints also cause problems when decisions are made in controlling the situation.

The proposed solar field is 200 feet from the brook as required by the state of Massachusetts. It will have no bearing on Little River.

Donna Pikul

Newbury