, Newburyport, MA

Local News

February 8, 2013

Plum Islanders race to shore up homes


“We’re going to be fine,” Connors predicted, saying the emergency measures put into place following December’s storm should make the difference — this time.

But Connors cautioned that Plum Island homes farther south could be in jeopardy as they have yet to be buffeted by the snake-like system of coir bags.

The mood elsewhere on Plum Island yesterday afternoon was far more sedate as residents and business owners matter-of-factly geared up for the storm’s appearance.

PI Beachcoma owner Gregg Pugh said he was excited for the storm’s arrival and expected to be open throughout the event.

“We can’t wait for tomorrow and Saturday to come our way,” Pugh said yesterday, adding he expected to attract many islanders within walking distance.

At Mr. Moe’s package store, Daniel Mahoney said he hadn’t noticed much concern from his regular customers despite believing at least some of the island would lose power as a result of the storm.

“People are just getting ready,” Mahoney said plainly.

Mahoney said the only question on his mind was whether authorities would call for a voluntary evacuation of the island like they did back in December when the storm flooded Plum Island Turnpike and closed other roads. Officials called for the voluntary evacuation fearing emergency vehicles wouldn’t be able to reach certain areas of the barrier island due to flooding.

“I think the old-timers would stay no matter what, they always do,” Mahoney said.

Indeed, judging by the lack of traffic and activity around lunchtime yesterday, there was scant evidence that a massive storm was roughly 24 hours away.

That did little to comfort Nee, however, as the worry over his beachfront house was apparent as he paced from the front yard to the beach area, watching as contractors did what they could on short notice to shore up his home.




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