Dam it! Flood warning after reservoir jammed by beaver lodges in central Romania

Dozens of emergency workers have pumped out water from a reservoir which was blocked by beaver lodges following heavy rain. Authorities intervened to prevent flooding in the area.

The reservoir on the outskirts of the city of Miercurea Ciuc was filled with debris from beaver dams along the River Fitod , a tributary of the Olt River after days of rain, the  Agerpres news agency reported.

Water levels

The Romanian Water Administration said the disintegrated dams led to rising water levels in the lake which filled up to 70% of its capacity. .

„The teams …. have been on alert and for more than two days…using three high-capacity pumps. So far, they have lowered the water level by about one meter,” a statement said.

Local water manager Gabriel Abos said about 180,000 cubic meters of water had accumulated in the lake when the emergency work began.

There is no longer an imminent danger of flooding, he said.

Beaver dams

Local residents are often exposed to flood risks and beaver dams are a main factor, Mr Abos said.

Beavers build dams on rivers and streams to stop moving water. The dam creates large ponds of still water behind it. But when the water current is too strong or the water is too deep, beavers can’t build a dam. When this happens, they will build their lodge on the edge of the river or stream.

  Beaver dams typically range in length from a few meters to as long as 100 meters


More rain is forecast for next week and authorities have ordered another pump from the Black Sea region.

The reservoir has been mainly dry since 2007. However, it became blocked after beavers started building their homes there, the water manager said.

“We managed to unblock the bottom parts and we hope to reduce the water level properly so we can begin …… safety works,” he said.



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