Pendleton County man looks for help in solving flooding and erosion issue

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 6:07 PM EDT
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PENDLETON COUNTY, W.Va. (WHSV) - A Pendleton County man is looking for answers in connection to a problem going on for years in his own backyard.

“It says that the Dam owner is to operate and maintain it and it’s my understanding that in 55 years not much of anything has been done,” Scott Beam, a Sugar Grove resident, said.

Beam has been living at his home in Sugar Grove since 2016 and says his flood frustration stems from an easement established in the 1960s.

Beam says on his property, there is a flood pool built for a dam downstream. He says every time it floods, the creek takes part of his land away and erodes the soil.

“If it’s a big enough flood event yes and it will create currents and whirlpools in here and do unspeakable things,” Beam said.

The Potomac Valley Conservation District, the group responsible for the easement, says because the flood pool helps the dam downstream there is nothing they can do to alter it.

“Unless it impedes the safety of the structure or the maintenance we can’t do anything because the stream is flowing it’s doing what it’s supposed to do,” Charlotte Hoover with the conservation district said.

A member of the U.S Army Corps of Engineers was on site Thursday morning to take pictures and monitor the stream. The representative says a report will be made on their findings.

Beam says he plans to take the results to state legislators to show how this erosion later impacts the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

“I’m trying to be a good steward upstream and that not only am I trying to get funding for these efforts I’m trying to shed light on it at the house and senate level,” Beam said.

Beam believes more should be done, and given prior legislation that’s failed to give more rights to landowners, he believes it’s a money thing.

“Their farms are eroding, they’re limited on what they can do because of easements and they can’t get state or federal level officials to do much because they don’t have money for it,” Beam said.

A representative of Senator Shelley Moore Capito was also there to take a look at the impact of the flooding.

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