Floodwaters plague neighborhood, residents blame beaver dams

Northwest Florida

DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — Homeowners in a private neighborhood have been plagued by floodwaters. The rising waters are blamed on the unique problem of beaver dams.

From drone footage, you can see standing water in Destin’s Regatta Bay community — when it is meant to flow through the neighborhood to the bay.

“I know for a fact there are four significant dams out there, one of them as long as 200 feet,” John Downs said.

People who call this area home have seen water rise to their foundations and HVAC systems — also killing plants on their property.

“None of the dams have been removed. About 50 feet from my grass line, and it’s all underwater. It has been for a year and a half at least,“ Gary Harris said.

Mike Kent with Progressive Property management says action is underway to have the dams removed with permission from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

One company was hired this year to go in by hand and break holes in the dams. They also trapped beavers as they are not a protected species.

Next, they plan to bring in Green Energy, a company with water jets to break apart the tangled mess of mud and wood.

If that does not work, Kent says step three will be to bring in equipment and remove giant sections of the dams and let the water flow. A vendor will then come in once a month to keep the area clear.

“I’ve been out there, I put on my waders, I’ve been in the water and walked up and down the conservation easement, and it is totally clogged up, stopped up, and it is totally due to a lack of maintenance,” Downs said.

The easement area is controlled by the Regatta Bay HOA, the Regatta Bay Golf Club, and South Walton Utility.

For now, residents hope for little rain, and property management says the situation should be resolved by the end of November.

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