Frustrated residents ask for help protecting homes
PLUM ISLAND, Mass. (WHDH) -- Three houses were destroyed by the powerful waves whipped up by last week’s winter storm. Now the work is beginning to try and protect the homes left standing.
Catherine Batchelder talks about losing her house here on Plum Island after last week's nor’easter pummeled the coast line with ferocious waves, heavy wet snow and winds that howled for three straight days.
“When you’re watching your furniture float out to sea, it’s nothing but surreal,” said Bathelder. “Our foundation was collapsed and the furniture floated out to sea.”
Many frustrated residents are at their boiling point. Residents packed a meeting in Newbury for more than two hours, pleading with officials for help in saving their homes.
“I’ve got a bill for like $33,000 for the cement blocks that we put in so far and we just started on the rocks today,” said Greg Sawyer. “I don’t know. It’s all out of homeowners’ pockets.”
“We need to take a bulldozer, mind the sand from the low tide line and replace the dune for the entire row of houses on Plum Island,” one woman said.
Two homes collapsed in the storm and have already been torn down. Four more teetering on the edge will be taken down over the next few days. Even the towns building inspector is blown away by all the destruction.
“You can look up at the houses, they’re 20 feet up, the depth of that sand and the volume lost is just, almost unfathomable,” said Sam Joslin, building inspector.
State Senator Bruce Tarr, who watched the houses crumble into the ocean is appealing to the governor for help.
“We’re asking the governor squarely to do whatever is necessary and whatever is available within his power to save these homes,” said State Sen. Tarr.
Forty homes in all have been damaged here and 13 are considered uninhabitable. Desperate homeowners find themselves pleading for help as they watch their homes get swallowed up by the sea.
“Bottom line is people are trying to save their homes and they’re hoping that they have the permits and the resources to do so at this point,” said Batchelder.
With two houses torn down and four to go, the landscape will be forever changed on Plum Island.