More Plum Island homes could face demolition

An aerial view of one of the homes on the Plum Island waterfront that fell off its foundation after sustaining damage during Friday's heavy winter storm. (Getty Images)
An aerial view of one of the homes on the Plum Island waterfront that fell off its foundation after sustaining damage during Friday’s heavy winter storm. (Getty Images)

As crews prepare to demolish a third house damaged by last week’s storm, town officials are warning that other homes along the beach on Plum Island could be in jeopardy.

Two homes on Annapolis Way were demolished over the weekend after they slipped off their foundations and partially collapsed during the storm’s high tides. A neighboring structure will be taken down Monday, as inspectors examine other nearby properties.

Newbury building inspector Sam Joslin says it’s likely three houses on Fordham Way will need to be removed, and dozens of others along the shoreline are in danger.

“Though the structures aren’t damaged, they’ve lost all of their dune fronts, so now we have an entire stretch of beach that’s completely unprotected,” Joslin told the Boston Globe. “With that, even a small storm at this point could become a major issue.”

Homeowners on Plum Island have invested in a variety of erosion prevention measures in recent years, fearing of their homes’ safety. State Senate Minority leader Bruce Tarr, who represents the area, wants the state to take action to save the beachfront properties. Tarr co-chairs the Merrimack River Beach Alliance, which plans to meet Monday to discuss the situation on Plum Island.

“It’s clear that up and down the coast, homes, property and infrastructure have been in jeopardy, it’s time that the commonwealth of Massachusetts takes a serious look at all the tools that are available,” Tarr told the Daily News of Newburyport. “We don’t want to have another home like that, and we want to be proactive and not reactive to the extent that we can.”

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