Beach Erosion Endangers Plum Island Home

By Ron Sanders, WBZ-TV

PLUM ISLAND (CBS) — High tide undermined the corner of a seaside summer home on Plum Island in Newburyport.  The owners said it happened around 3 or 3:30 a.m. Monday.  

Waves damaged a small deck but the owners hold onto optimism and place their faith in the stilts or pilings on which the oceanfront house is built.

WBZ-TV’s Ron Sanders reports.

“When I bought the house 30 years ago, it was right on the beach and on stormy days, the water went underneath that,” said Dr. Sadrun Hemani.

A number of Plum Island homeowners say the Army Corps of Engineers jetty at the mouth of the Merrimack River contributes to damaging wave action around their homes during storms. 

“When we were first here, we had a 100 feet of dune and as soon as the jetty was breached we started to lose 10 feet chunks at a time,” explained Clare Dunphy.

  • Italo

    Why are these people selecting to build and live in their homes on the sand, just above the high-tide lines in Massachusetts coastal towns?? At first you feel bad, and then the second and fourth or seventh time around, you begin thinking to yourself, “OK, doing that sounds not too bright.” Mother Nature’s always gonna ultimately have her way. Stop living on the freaking beach where nor’easters happen?!

    • mikey


    • adrian

      i know they are very stupid

  • ddeert345

    Italo, these houses have been there for a long time, and the shore line used to be a lot farther away. I know the house they’re talking about, and the water line used to be almost 50-60 feet farther away. The problem is that the maintenance of the jettys hasn’t been done, causing severe erosion.

  • Carol

    I bought my house on Plum Island in 1977 because that was all I could afford. That is how alot of people got stuck on Plum Island!

    • adrian

      youre stupid carol

  • Coastie

    130 years ago that was all water, so what the pioint in throwing all that money at it?

  • Coastie

    130 years ago it was all water, so what’s the point in throwing all that money at trying to save it? It’s hopeless!

    Sorry about the poor spelling, grammer.

  • Rosie

    You want to live on the beach, well expect water and erosion. It’s called nature. It doesn’t care if you have a house there or not. Don’t expect the taxpayers to pay for your problems now.

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