NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

January 9, 2014

Selectmen to discuss PI storm issues tonight

NEWBURY — Selectmen will hold a special meeting at Town Hall tonight to discuss last week’s snowstorm and its effect on Plum Island.

“What we are looking at is what do we have for problems and what do we need to look at moving ahead,” said selectman chairman Joe Story. “We have a selectmen’s meeting (scheduled for) next Tuesday, but we are trying to find out if there is anything we need to know for next Tuesday.”

The nor’easter dumped almost 2 feet of snow on the area last Thursday and Friday. Once again, all eyes were on the island, where six homes were lost last winter. Although there was no loss of power or homes last week, there are still issues to be discussed, he said.

“This last storm, believe it or not, it was nasty down there,” said Story. “And that was because of the snow and the cold and everything. We had extremely high, astronomical tides, but we didn’t have really heavy winds. We had wind gusts in the 20 (mph range). If we had gusts in the 40s and sustained winds in the 20s or 30s, we would’ve had a lot more problems. Those things all add up.”

Residents have taken it upon themselves to place a rocky barrier to protect their properties against storm surges and so far it seems to have worked for most.

“The people who had built substantial rock structures in front of their houses to protect them, they fared pretty well,” said Story. “There are two pieces of property that don’t have the rocks in front of them and that’s where we have some problems. And then there were some areas where the rock structures were not quite so robust and those areas needed a little repair.”

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