LEAVE IT TO BEAVERS: Big sinkhole closes Highway 33 in Beaufort County

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CHOCOWINITY, NC (WITN) - Beavers are being blamed for causing a sinkhole that has shut down a state highway here in Eastern Carolina.

A section of Highway 33, east of Chocowinity in Beaufort County, is closed to all traffic while Department of Transportation crews work to repair the damage.

DOT maintenance supervisor Mike Nichols says beavers built a dam underneath a box cover that’s under the roadway. That backed up all the rain from earlier in the week, weakening soil around the road and causing the sinkhole.

The sinkhole was discovered last night and the D.O.T. immediately shut down the highway. Nichols says it was seven to eight feet deep and six or seven feet wide.

Since Wednesday night crews have pulled even more pavement out to fix the deep hole.

Motorists have to take a five or six mile detour.

Nichols says they don’t know how much damage was done yet, so there’s no estimate on when the highway will reopen.

The sinkhole is about a half mile east of the Dixon Road intersection.