(NECN: Jackie Bruno, Newburyport, Mass.) - A state of emergency has been declared in Plum Island as erosion from heavy rains last month threaten to swallow up homes.
There are about four homes that are right on the edge of the erosion. It's so dire that two of them already had occupancy warrants issued last year.
Local, state, and federal officials are all taking the issue very seriously -- both Congressman John Tierney and State Senator Bruce Tarr were at the meeting and pledged their commitment.
But with anything in goverment, it can takes weeks or even years to find solutions. Now, they are working on a long-term solution by repairing the north and south jetties. The water and sand are washing over them and letting the sand into the Merrimack River. Building those jetties up would help to keep the sand on the beach and help the homeowners. That solution could come to fruition in two to five years.
In the meantime, these homeowners say they need a short term solution.
"In the short term, we want to be able to protect our homes," said Bob Connors. "If the government and the state government can't defend our properties at this time, they need to step aside and allow us to defend our properties even with our own funds."
Homeowners want to be able to do some sand scraping so they can build up what the ocean has taken away. They need permits to do this. On Tuesday, a focused meeting with all the necessary officials will be held to try to create a quick solution by the end of next week.