PLUM ISLAND (CBS) – Homeowners on Plum Island are outraged and desperate. Their homes are either in danger or destroyed because of beach erosion. On Tuesday night, they faced off against local and state leaders about what to do next.
“It is time for the DEP to get the hell out of the way,” said Stephen Bandoian. “We don’t need them, we don’t want them!”
Bandoian’s house was the first to go during the blizzard earlier this year, and Tuesday was his first chance to lay blame at the state officials he says stopped him from saving his home.
Residents used to be able to maintain the dunes at their own expense until regulators stopped them in the 90’s. They want that power back.
“Some of us think the DEP has an agenda,” said Bandoian, “and that agenda doesn’t include any of you, they want you gone, they want everybody out of here.”
Most of the Plum Island residents that packed a Newbury community hall seem to feel that state regulators are in the way and that homeowners are happy to do the work, and pay the bills, to build those dunes.
“The denial of action and the inaction, caused us, myself and six others, to lose our homes,” said another homeowner.
State officials say they have several plans, including demolishing some homes, putting others on pilings or moving some back.