NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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February 9, 2013

Storm batters Plum Island, Salisbury Beach

At least two Annapolis Way homes compromised

A mandatory evacuation has been ordered along the ocean front of Salisbury Beach for residents on North End Boulevard and Broadway this morning. Meanwhile, the storm ravaged sections of Plum Island, leaving at least one home heavily damaged.

The evacuation order came just after 9 a.m. Saturday in the wake of high storm surges, with reports of at least one person trapped in her house on North End Boulevard after it became surrounded by water. Several people are reporting difficulty getting out of their homes due to the conditions from the waves and water.

Bucket loaders are being used to evacuate people from homes and North End Boulevard was reported to be completely impassable at 9:50 a.m.

Electrical power was cut to Michael's Oceanfront Motel at 40 Central Ave. at 10 a.m. and all occupants were in the process of being evacuated. The National Guard was en route to the motel.

The code red follows a report of a wave crashing into a house in the 240-250 North End Boulevard block around 8:30 a.m., causing significant damage to the building and forcing the evacuation of five residents -- two adults and three children.

All available firefighters have been called to the fire station. Atlantic Ambulance is sending vehicles as well as a bus from Lynn to help with the evacuation. Public safety crews are working diligently to round up other vans and vehicles to assist with transporting residents off the beach.

Plum Island

Plum Island has suffered significant beach erosion, and it's unclear whether at least one house on Annapolis Way can be saved in the wake of the blizzard of 2013.

While much of the island appears to have weathered the storm without major destruction, homes on Annapolis Way have been hit the hardest.

The already precarious Nee family house at 37 Annapolis Way has been further compromised by the pounding winds and waves, losing its slab concrete basement and completely demolishing the last piece of its side deck, according to Newbury Building Inspector Sam Joslin.

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