, Newburyport, MA

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December 29, 2012

Operation sandbag

Officials act quick to protect threatened beachside


The report, which is on the town’s website, also said, “The panel consensus, based on available science, was that beach scraping at Plum Island would likely increase erosion.”

Numerous Plum Island residents felt that scraping had helped during recent Superstorm Sandy, because no serious damage was reported.

Tarr said it would be useful to study the effects of scraping. One reason that town officials are earmarking $10,000 to the latest effort is to study and implement effective methods of erosion control.

“I think that scraping helped for Sandy,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Joe Story said. “About its long-term effects, we don’t know.”

Regarding their latest unit of protection, town officials said that some sand envelopes will be constructed to a size of 3-by-3-by-9 feet in size. Others will be longer and higher.

The units and placement are being provided by Netco, a special services and construction company based in Lexington.

Doug Packer, conservation agent for Newbury, said Newburyport previously installed similar sand bags on the beach at the ends of 53rd, 55th and 57th streets, and he said they have proven successful.

“I am optimistic that the (bagging) will be effective,” he said. “We tested them at the center, and they can take a lot of force.”

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