Beavers create travel headache for southeast Muhlenberg residents
(Reprinted from above link)
MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (1/3/20) — The beaver population in southeastern Muhlenberg County has created a dam issue along Mud River Union Road.
There are approximately 50 residents who live at the end of the county road, where a nearby creek flows into Mud River. It appears water is across a section of the road about a half-mile leading to the homes, which makes travel difficult.
Vicki Knight and her family, who utilize Mud River Union Road to get home, say the problem has gotten out of hand and they are forced to take an alternate route, sometimes using boats or four-wheelers.
“The water is way up now, and it won’t go down for weeks or a month,” Knight said. “It is a mess out here,” adding they have resided in that area for two decades. “It has always been a problem, but over the last five years, it has gotten much worse.”
At times, their alternative route off U.S. 431 to Kentucky 2270-E is affected by floodwater.
Muhlenberg County Judge-Executive Curtis McGehee said this week that the issue was brought to his attention during his tenure as sheriff a few months ago. He is speaking to road department officials and magistrates about hiring a beaver trapping expert to help remedy the issue.
“There were times when I was sheriff that the road was terribly muddy,” McGehee said. “Beavers are damming it up and controlling water levels. And, right now, (the water) is over the road and you can’t safely drive through it.”
Until the beavers are under control in that area, there’s not a whole lot officials can do.
McGehee plans to update magistrates on the situation during the next Fiscal Court meeting Thursday, and they will go from there on maintaining that section of the road.
“It’s terribly aggravating for residents that live there to try and get down that road,” he said. “The best thing the county can do is work on the beaver population and attempt to maintain the road.”
Furthermore, county officials indicated they do not have the funds to build a bridge across that area, or even elevate the road. McGehee said another option is to contact Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for availability of emergency funds to alleviate the problem.
The beaver is capable of modifying its habitat to suit its needs, and is an ongoing problem across the state in creating flooding on property and along highways.