WBUR

Plum Island Homes Demolished After Storm

The partially collapsed home on Plum Island Friday afternoon (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The partially collapsed home on Plum Island Friday afternoon (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

NEWBURY, Mass. — The winter storm that battered New England’s coastline ripped two homes off their foundation and left them partially collapsed into the ocean on Plum Island, off the northeast coast of Massachusetts.

One of the houses on Annapolis Way was pulled partially into the ocean Friday morning after the third high tide during the storm pounded the shoreline. Another collapsed early Saturday morning.

The partially collapsed home on Plum Island Friday afternoon (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The partially collapsed home on Plum Island Friday afternoon (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

No one was inside the homes at the time.

A spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said the utilities in the first house were disconnected Thursday, anticipating that it might fall into the sea. Its foundation had been worn over by previous storms over the past few years.

Sam Joslin, building commissioner for the town of Newbury which includes the neighborhood, said officials plan to remove three homes before they fall into the ocean, where the debris could wash back ashore.

A total of 12 buildings on Plum Island have been condemned by building inspectors.

The two-day storm dropped more than a foot of snow on parts of New England, caused coastal flooding in Massachusetts, and turned the morning commute in the region into a slushy crawl.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

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  • http://www.facebook.com/gwrightg Wright G Gregson

    these jerks who build on the edge of a sand dune do not have my sympathy at all.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      they do seem to be genuinly surprised every time

  • http://www.facebook.com/suzanne.lee.963 Suzanne Lee

    Gregson, your ignorance to the situation is appalling, and in my opinion deems you unfit to comment on the situation. Although these homes may have been beachfront properties when built, they were not built on the edge of a sand dune, and were not nearly as close to the ocean as they are now. The landscape of the island has changed many times in its history, including the formation of the basin. Change to barrier islands is not uncommon, but the dramatic and devastating effects of erosion in the past 5 years is unparalleled. “Sympathy” towards those who call Plum Island home, particularly those whose homes have been directly effected by the storms and erosion, is certainly in order. Their choices to live in such a place were not made through ignorance. To a certain extent I agree with the fact that there are inherent risks when deciding to live on a beachfront property, but no one could have anticipated such a quick change to the landscape of Plum Island in the past year. My love and thoughts are with everyone who holds Plum Island close to their heart.

  • magellan

    Return Plum Island to the wetland barrier island protecting the mainland the way nature intended it.

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