Beaver dam breach washes out part of Route 63


HINSDALE, N.H. -- The breach of a 12-foot-high beaver dam at least a half-mile off Route 63 caused a pond to overflow and sent water surging down a brook, where it washed out a portion of the road Thursday, according the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

SLIDESHOW:Route 63 washout.

NHDOT Foreman Chris Hope told the Reformer a concrete pipe, which is now fully exposed, under the road near the Hinsdale-Chesterfield townline could not handle the overwhelming volume of water, causing some of the water to flow onto the roadway and break off chunks of its surface around noon. There were no injuries, but the affected portion of Route 63 has been blocked. Hope said his Winchester office got the call around 12:30 p.m. and there is a possibility the road will be reopened by dinnertime Friday.

"(Water) typically goes through this four-foot pipe all year-round and it handles it because it's just a little trickle of water," he said around 6 p.m. "It couldn't handle it and it plugged up.

"It's what's called a 'flash flood,'" he added. "It's amazing what water can do. It's really amazing."

Mother and daughter Bonnie and Courtney Hodge, of Echo Farm Puddings, a short walk from the washed out road, captured video footage of the floodwaters roaring down the brook that goes through their property. The video showed murky, muddy water flowing past them and affecting a field where the family's two horses are kept.

"It's awful -- because you hear the boulders rolling around," Bonnie told the Reformer. "Oh my God, it's unbelievable."

Courtney said the family had just gotten the field cleaned up following a flood in October, though her mother said that was "nothing like this."

Domenic Poli can be reached at, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.


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