A 'damming' problem: Beaver dam causes Hillsboro yard to flood

HILLSBORO, Ore. - The yard for a Hillsboro couple is flooding because of a beaver dam they say is partially on city property.

But the city won't do anything about it.

It's not the first time the couple has had beaver trouble. Barney Lewis and Laura Biro said two years ago the city was happy to come out and remove the dam. But on Wednesday the city said the problem just isn't big enough.

The chewed up trees and the flooded yard is evidence that the beaver has been busy. He's built a dam in the creek between the couple's yard and city property.

Two years ago, Biro and her husband had the same problem, and they said the city came out and took care of the dam.

"The person I talked to two years ago was very helpful - came out, took a look," said Lewis.

This year it's the same problem but different response.

"There wasn't immediate danger to life or property," said Hillsboro spokeswoman Barbara Simon. "It appears that this is affecting a single property."

Simon along with Tom Arnold of Hillsboro Public Works said they didn't have time to find records of what happened two years ago.

But this year "there's potential flooding of one property. The water's rising. It could be damage to some landscaping or something like that," said Arnold. "That's not something where we're going to go in and tear out."

They said if the problem worsens, they can reassess. Meanwhile, they gave Biro and her husband the number of a federally funded trapper. But Biro said the trapper couldn't catch anything last time. They want more help.

"We've lost about four feet of our property right here," Biro said. "We almost lost one of our big trees, and if that had been chewed and fell, it would have hit our fence; it would have hit property. And who's going to clean it up? The city or us?"

Arnold said he would do more research, but even if the dam is partly on city property, the city can't get involved unless there's danger to life or to a home.