, Newburyport, MA

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March 15, 2010

Plum Island home survives tide, danger still present

PLUM ISLAND -- Erosion along Plum Island's beachfront has placed a Newbury home in danger of collapse. This morning emergency personnel cut off power and drained the oil tank at 27 Annapolis Way, a residential home that now sits on a precipice of eroding dune. The circa 1940 converted cottage sits on the edge of about a 10-foot dropoff. Firefighters and the homeowners removed many possessions. The house survived today's high tide, but another wind-whipped tide is expected in the early hours of Tuesday morning. An adjacent home was also evacuated. Winds and waves were fierce on the island today, and rain pounded down on dozen or so emergency workers who were monitoring the situation. It's estimated that more than 11 inches of rain has fallen since the storm began on Saturday. Plum Island is particularly vulnerable to Nor'Easters like the one that is pounding the coast today. The beach faces east, and so it takes the full brunt of the storm. Homes along Annapolis Way have witnessed severe erosion of their beachfront dune over the past several weeks. Two harsh Nor'Easters -- today's ongoing storm and another two weeks ago that lashed the island with 95 mph winds -- have eaten away at the dunes at an alarming rate. The area of erosion is just south of the Beach Center, where erosion claimed a home in late 2008 and massive sandbags have been emplaced to protect vulnerable homes. The Daily News is on the scene and will be reporting as news becomes available.

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