NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 9, 2013

Storm claims 3 homes

Powerful blast leaves destructive path on Plum Island

PLUM ISLAND — The latest storm to strike Plum Island proved to be a knockout blow for three Annapolis Way homes, which will be torn down later this morning after suffering catastrophic damage during yesterday’s ferocious morning high tide.

The houses at 37 and 41 Annapolis Way were each condemned yesterday after high seas washed away the dune from underneath them, compromising their foundations and rendering them a danger to the public.. Early this morning, another home on Annapolis Way collapsed due to erosion of the dune that it sat on. 

Three other houses suffered significant structural damage in the storm and at least a dozen were left teetering perilously close to the edge.

The house at 41 Annapolis Way toppled over the edge shortly after yesterday’s 8:30 a.m. high tide hit. It sat at a 45-degree angle, half on the dune and half on the beach, with wreckage and personal belongings spilling out into the waves that lashed at it.

While Tom Nee’s residence at 37 Annapolis Way was still standing, virtually all the engineering that had been done to shore up the house after it was damaged by the Blizzard of 2013 was gone.

“We couldn’t anticipate a storm like this coming and doing the damage that it did,” said Newbury Building Inspector Sam Joslin. “So that work was for naught and the house is in worse shape than it was prior to repairs.”

Yesterday’s storm was the latest in a string of devastating storms to hit Plum Island over the past few months, including Superstorm Sandy, a surprisingly strong December storm, and then the blizzard.

Bob Connors, who lives between the two houses at 39 Annapolis Way, said he couldn’t recall Plum Island ever experiencing this many storms in such quick succession, and it’s taking its toll.

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