County workers hiked in Wednesday to a beaver dam that breached two weeks ago. A dam that beavers had already rebuilt in the last week.
They brought in mesh wiring that will be part of a contraption called a "beaver deceiver,” a 20 foot, 18-inch wide pipe installed in the dam. It will allow water to flow out, and maintain the water level. It was installed with the help of the Washington Conservation Corps.
"The assumption is that the beavers will try to build right on top of the beaver deceiver,” said Don Althauser, emergency response supervisor for King County Stormwater Management. “But they won't block the pipe we put into the damn.”
The goal is prevent another blowout like the one two weeks ago.
"I could hear trees breaking and wood snapping and I knew it was serious,” said Cliff Nelson. The damn sits on Nelson's 27-acre property. His home and about 50 others rely on the roads downhill for access.
So King County Stormwater crews also cleared debris and reinforced the culverts to ensure safe passage.
At the bottom of the hill is Bob Siko's home that has been in their family for generations, still surrounded by mud, gravel, with an unpredictable threat still uphill.
"Makes me sick to my stomach,” said Siko. “In the short term I have to find a place for everyone to live.” Siko says his homeowner’s insurance does not cover the damage to his home.
County workers chained loose logs to other trees, and installed a HESCO barrier behind his house.
They hope it's enough to buy time for homeowners to find a more permanent solution.
"I don't have the resources to fight this all winter long,” said Siko.
A county spokesperson says they’re doing to the work to protect the roads, but the final solution to protect property will have to come from the homeowners.