EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

March 9, 2013

Storm claims 2 homes

Leaves destructive path


Police and National Guard troops restricted access to Annapolis Way after the house collapsed, and after the tide receded some vulnerable homeowners tried shoring up their homes in any way they could. Many expressed frustration that they hadn’t gotten the chance to earlier.

“We have proposed many solutions, all privately funded, and we just continue to hit roadblock after roadblock [from the state and federal agencies],” Connors said shortly after high tide. “The result is we’re probably going to have seven homes structurally damaged or lost today on top of what we already had.”

Connors said time has run out for the Plum Island homeowners and measures need to be taken immediately to protect the homes that remain. State Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, has been a vocal proponent of helping beachfront homeowners protect their property, and he called on other state and federal officials to take action.

“Its 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 said. “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.”

Tarr added that all affected homeowners should do whatever they need to do to protect their home in the short term, and he would work with the Department of Environmental Protection to make sure the laws are either complied with or changed.

Prior to the Blizzard, Annapolis Way homeowners have paid to install “coir bags” along the waterside of their properties. These 40-foot-long sandbags form a protective wall against the surf. The wall of sandbags was about a quarter mile long, but the bags took a beating in yesterday’s storm, and in some areas they were left in tatters.

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