Another Plum Island Home Torn Down - NECN

Another Plum Island Home Torn Down



    It is 6th house on island to fall victim to the most recent winter storm (Published Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014)

    (NECN: Scot Yount - Newbury, Mass.) "This has changed our perspective of the landscape forever," said a dejected Greg Sawyer, who has lived in this neighborhood his entire life.

    The sting of the wrecking ball is hard to bear.
    "We are just watching it come down and go into dumpsters, and get carted away and we don't know what we are doing," said Catherine Batchelder, whose home has already been demolished.

    This home has been here for 50 years, survived The Blizzard of '78.  The one next door demolished Thursday, had been here for 40 years.

    "While we always knew we had houses right on the ocean, none of us ever thought we would lose them," said Batchelder.

    It brings the total of homes here that have fallen victim to the bout of recent winter storms to six.

    "Because they won't let us replace the primary dune, we are back to this," said Cheryl Comeau, who's family built here in the '70s.
    Comeau's family home, a year-rounder, is just feet away from the last two to be destroyed.

    Homeowners have been mired in a legal quagmire trying to save the beach front and their homes that didn't exist at the time of The Blizzard of record.

    "We had one in '78 that did almost very similar damage to what we have right now, and because we didn't have our hands tied behind our backs, we were able to restore the primary dune, the entire length of the beach, and it lasted 28 years," said Comeau.

    Environmental regulations have tightened and that has meant little could be done to save the dunes that once hid the ocean from these homes.

    "If we had been allowed to scrape the sand back up and protect the homes, like we wanted to, this would have, I believe would have been avoided," said Sawyer.

    Cheryl's family has lost their occupancy for now, and it could get worse.

    "As far as future storms, there is one coming Tuesday, that could do us in, if we don't get more protection down there," said Cheryl's mother, Nancy Jones.