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`End of Plum Island'
Boston Herald ^ | March 9, 2013 | Joe Dwinell

Posted on 03/09/2013 8:23:33 AM PST by GQuagmire

`End of Plum Island' Nerves on edge as storm waters rising March 9, 2013 PrintEmail 52 Comments By Erin Smith / Boston Herald View My Profile

By Joe Dwinell / Boston Herald @joedwinell View My Profile By Matt Stout / Boston Herald View My Profile 123 114 googleplus4 reddit3

Battered by two monster storms in a month, desperate Plum Island residents are losing their battle with the wind and the waves and ultimately face watching their homes wash out to sea, a top expert told the Herald.

“This is the end of Plum Island,” Orrin H. Pilkey, Duke University professor emeritus of earth and ocean sciences, said last night. “If nothing is done, the houses will fall into the sea one by one. It’s a futile effort. You need to retreat. It’s the same thing up and down the East Coast and Gulf Coast.”

One Plum Island home toppled into the ocean and another was teetering on the edge of the waves yesterday, according to Peter Judge, spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

“It’s not a matter of if, but when,” said Judge of the other house falling into the ocean.

About a dozen homes on Plum Island have been damaged — some beyond repair, said Judge. A two-alarm fire was reported at a home on the 11-mile-long barrier island shared by Newburyport, Rowley and Ipswich on the North Shore.

Pilkey said only drastic and expensive measures, which are likely impractical, will end the threat to the ocean-front homes on Plum Island. The beach will survive, he added, but the homes won’t.

“When you have a bunch of storms like this, there’s not much you can do about it,” said Ron Barrett of the Plum Island Taxpayers Association. “Whatever is coming in at that time is going to eat that sand away, and anything else that is there. There’s nothing to block it, there’s no sand bar in the way to block it. It’s just a reoccurring thing.”

Beaches and dunes in Newbury, Plymouth, Salisbury, Sandwich and the rest of Cape Cod were also damaged yesterday by 20-foot waves, widespread erosion and storm surges as the latest winter storm hit the coast, said Bruce Carlisle, director of state’s Coastal Zone Management.

“Each successive storm has had cumulative impacts. This March nor’easter has definitely left its mark,” Carlisle said. “When people go out to the beach — whether it’s tomorrow or Memorial Day — it’s going to look different.”

Sea foam was breaching the dunes on the Cape yesterday, according to George Price, superintendent of the Cape Cod National Seashore, which saw last month’s blizzard wash away the stairs at Marconi and Nauset Light beaches.

“We’re trying to keep people back from the edges because naturally they’re curious and want to look down. Unfortunately the bluffs have been undercut by the waves and are not stable,” Price said.

Judge said officials in Marshfield made a handful of rescues as flood waters moved in.

In Scituate, town administrator Patricia A. Vinchesi said conditions began to “deteriorate” by yesterday morning, with flooding hitting spots officials didn’t expect. It was so bad in Humarock, she said, two cars were trapped, with one floating in the street, she said.

“The flooding,” Vinchesi said, “is pretty severe.”


TOPICS: Science; Weather
KEYWORDS: plumisland
I do feel somewhat bad for these people. Saw on the news this AM they want to build seawalls and other preventative measures (without govt assistance) but have been running into red tape for years.
1 posted on 03/09/2013 8:23:33 AM PST by GQuagmire
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To: GQuagmire
...the 11-mile-long barrier island shared by Newburyport, Rowley and Ipswich on the North Shore.

Uh oh. Cue creepy music, and watch out for hordes of humanoid fish-frogs wading ashore toward Innsmouth. / H.P Lovecraft reference, for the unread. ;)

2 posted on 03/09/2013 8:32:29 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: GQuagmire

Sorry..no sympathy at all.If you choose to live on,or near,the ocean you must acknowledge that there are potential drawbacks,even serious ones.I don’t care if we’re talking Hawaii,California,Florida,New Jersey or Massachusetts.You chose to live there...deal with it!


3 posted on 03/09/2013 8:37:44 AM PST by Gay State Conservative ("Progressives" toss the word "racist" around like chimps toss their feces)
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To: GQuagmire

The answer is very simple...Build back away from the shoreline.....


4 posted on 03/09/2013 8:37:56 AM PST by JW1949
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To: Gay State Conservative

Exactly right....Use common sense when you build....


5 posted on 03/09/2013 8:38:43 AM PST by JW1949
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To: JW1949

Or build and live on a boat.


6 posted on 03/09/2013 8:40:10 AM PST by Paladin2
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To: GQuagmire

What a pesemistic asshole... But why are they building homes on a barrier island in the first place?


7 posted on 03/09/2013 8:41:19 AM PST by Pikachu_Dad (Impeach Sen Quinn)
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To: Gay State Conservative

Like I said, I feel somewhat bad for them. If they want to throw their own money at a losing proposition they can knock themselves out trying to postpone the inevitable.

If they ask for any help from the govt forget it. They’re on their own


8 posted on 03/09/2013 8:41:54 AM PST by GQuagmire
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To: GQuagmire

How can you feel “bad” for ignorant, and/or egotistical people such as these???


9 posted on 03/09/2013 8:45:00 AM PST by JW1949
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To: All

It’s all about man thinking he can control nature....


10 posted on 03/09/2013 8:46:31 AM PST by JW1949
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To: GQuagmire
Well it's like this...we have these tectonic "plates" under the earth's surface which are constantly shifting around, like a pile of dirty dishes in the kitchen sink. Entire continents continue to pull apart and drift about.

Look at a globe and see how the continents sort of fit into each other if you smoosh them together. At one point, we used to be all one continent. But not anymore.

Over the next millions, billions of years even, our continents will be bumping into each other again, causing all sorts of annoyances for those still living on land masses. You might be able to step off the Aleutians and onto Hawaii - but Hawaii won't be warm anymore. If you own vacation property on Hawaii, you will eventually be screwed - about 2.3 billion years from now. I advise you to sell now.

11 posted on 03/09/2013 8:47:05 AM PST by SamAdams76
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To: GQuagmire

They seemed to have a good fix for Grand Ise in Louisiana.


12 posted on 03/09/2013 8:48:55 AM PST by Pikachu_Dad (Impeach Sen Quinn)
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To: All

I like what Larry, the Cable Guy said....
Look how smart the republicans are....They built a city below sea level and surrounded it with dikes that were built by the lowest bidder and inhabited the city with democrats who can’t swim....(New Orleans)


13 posted on 03/09/2013 8:49:33 AM PST by JW1949
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To: JW1949
From post #8...


Like I said, I feel somewhat bad for them. If they want to throw their own money at a losing proposition they can knock themselves out trying to postpone the inevitable.

If they ask for any help from the govt forget it. They’re on their own

14 posted on 03/09/2013 8:49:44 AM PST by GQuagmire
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To: GQuagmire

Plum Island.

Sure hope they’ve cleaned up all the level4 containments before running away.


15 posted on 03/09/2013 8:51:03 AM PST by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Vendetta))
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To: Gay State Conservative

****Sorry..no sympathy at all.If you choose to live on,or near,the ocean you must acknowledge that there are potential drawbacks,even serious ones.****

I would be interested in knowing what kind of property taxes they have been paying over their lifetimes - and why that money was not used to build sea-walls and protective dunes.


16 posted on 03/09/2013 8:58:43 AM PST by sodpoodle (Life is prickly - carry tweezers.)
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To: GQuagmire

Actually, we don’t let just anybody build whatever they want in the ocean along the shore.


17 posted on 03/09/2013 8:58:45 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: Gay State Conservative

Agreed. If you build within five miles of the shoreline you deserve what ever you get.

Mother Nature is not to be messed with. She ALWAYS wins. She has lots of time on her side. We are puny to her.


18 posted on 03/09/2013 8:59:24 AM PST by upchuck (Waiting, hoping, begging for the straw. Time to bring pent up frustration to fruition.)
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To: GQuagmire

When I saw the title of the article, I thought of the other Plum Island, the one off Long Island. You definitely don’t want what’s on that Plum Island washing out to sea. Great book by Nelson DeMille.


19 posted on 03/09/2013 9:03:52 AM PST by Fair Paul
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To: SamAdams76
Well it's like this...we have these tectonic "plates" under the earth's surface which are constantly shifting around, like a pile of dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.

I want to build my house on the San Andreas Fault. No, not near... I want it on the fault with the living room and kitchen on the North American plate and the bedrooms on the Pacific plate. And I expect the federal government will pay to rebuild my house if anything goes wrong.

20 posted on 03/09/2013 9:06:08 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Choose one: the yellow and black flag of the Tea Party or the white flag of the Republican Party.)
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To: JW1949
The answer is very simple...Build back away from the shoreline.....

That's not really possible here. Plum Island is really more like a glorified sand bar.

I'm really sorry to hear this. Before I escaped from The Peoples Republic of MA, I used to go there to photograph the sunrise.

21 posted on 03/09/2013 9:06:59 AM PST by MAexile (Bats left, votes right)
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To: GQuagmire
Is Plum island one of the barrier islands on the inter coastal waterway? If it is , then it was meant to get battered by storms to protect vessels during stormy weather, and act as a buffer to the coast. If you build something on an island meant to take the brunt of whatever s**t mother nature throws at you, you're either incredibly stupid, or like to pay ridiculous insurance premiums, or you just like a fresh new look every few years.
22 posted on 03/09/2013 9:11:16 AM PST by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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To: GQuagmire

They need to check out Galveston Texas and the storm of 1900, still the worst natural disaster (6000 to 10,000 lives lost) to hit the US. Amazing what the people were able to do with man and horse power.


23 posted on 03/09/2013 9:13:54 AM PST by Ditter
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To: MAexile

Those houses that have collapsed are pretty close to the main road that runs parallel to the beach. Sooner rather than later there will be a breech between the houses and the ocean will run right onto the road and will do a lot more damage that a few houses toppled over....


24 posted on 03/09/2013 9:16:49 AM PST by GQuagmire
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To: GQuagmire
Matthew 7:26-27

But everyone who hears these words of mine
and does not put them into practice
is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

The rain came down, the streams rose,
and the winds blew and beat against that house,
and it fell with a great crash."

25 posted on 03/09/2013 9:16:50 AM PST by HangnJudge
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To: sodpoodle
It's not that big an area.

I suspect it's been inhabited for a long time. There are a lot of places like that on the coast -- Hull, Nahant, Winthrop. The lower 4/5 of Plum Island is a nature preserve. Maybe before too long the upper fifth will follow.

26 posted on 03/09/2013 9:19:22 AM PST by x
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To: GQuagmire
A sandy beach is an unsuitable place for a long term residence.

People used to build cabanas on the beach, because they better understood nature.

If you can't afford to rebuild out of pocket, you probably shouldn't be building on a sandy beach.

27 posted on 03/09/2013 9:19:48 AM PST by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: GQuagmire

Over-wash due to storm and peak lunar cycles has been happening on east coast barrier islands since they were created.


28 posted on 03/09/2013 9:28:31 AM PST by Rebelbase (1929-1950's, 20+years for full recovery. How long this time?)
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To: SampleMan

The Outer Banks in NC are full of 4-5 story “beach” house...Rent anywhere from 5 to 8 thousand a week....
They are constantly being moved or re-supported...The “locals ususally live in one story low roofed homes back away from the beaches...


29 posted on 03/09/2013 9:39:17 AM PST by JW1949
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To: GQuagmire

Much of the coast is buildable, as long as you don’t get too near the beach, except in bays or inlets.

But barrier islands are like this by nature. They are mostly sand, and they shift at least a little with every storm or unusually high tide. That means that houses along the outer beach are subject to these problems, and may have to be moved after a storm.

Rocky barriers can help, but then of course you get into trouble with idiot environmentalists. Put in a wall of boulders and you’re liable to crush a few crabs and starfish in the process.

If we could just abolish the EPA and similar organizations, things would go a bit better. But anyone who builds a house on the beach of a barrier island needs to be rich enough to occasionally fix it or move it. It’s a nice lifestyle, but it’s an expensive one. No reason why other people should pay for it.


30 posted on 03/09/2013 9:41:01 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: sodpoodle
I would be interested in knowing what kind of property taxes they have been paying over their lifetimes - and why that money was not used to build sea-walls and protective dunes.

Sea walls? Protective dunes? I saw a documentary recently about that huge earthquake and tsunami that Japan experienced a year or two ago.During one portion they focused on events in one seaside town which had spent millions on a huge,and complex,tsunami wall which was supposed to protect the area.Well,the sea got through...quite easily,it was said...and absolutely *devastated* that town/area.Mother Nature is powerful.She *will* not be denied.

31 posted on 03/09/2013 9:43:10 AM PST by Gay State Conservative ("Progressives" toss the word "racist" around like chimps toss their feces)
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To: SamAdams76

If it wasn’t for global warming, george W bush, right wing Christians, or a god who couldn’t build a planet that didn’t have shifting plates or something, then the winds of the ocean waves would not be tearing down the shore line that was created billions of years ago and NEVER CHANGED by earth mother Giai until all the former got involved. (sarc off)


32 posted on 03/09/2013 9:48:53 AM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: Hardraade

Different Plum Island


33 posted on 03/09/2013 9:54:33 AM PST by Roccus
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To: Roccus

Ah yea, saw that. Big place, the US :).


34 posted on 03/09/2013 10:07:27 AM PST by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Vendetta))
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To: GQuagmire

Go look at where people lived 100-200 years ago (or more). Chances are many of the places people live now where unpopulated or sparsely populated back then. There’s probably a reason for that. I think it was in the 1920’s when there was a land boom in Floriduh. Until that point it was regarded as a mosquito infested swamp and nobody wanted to go there or live there. (Yes I know Saint Augustine is like the oldest city in the US or whatever). I’m just saying that if our ancestors from long ago could see some of the places we have chosen to live they would be shaking their heads.


35 posted on 03/09/2013 10:08:54 AM PST by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: GQuagmire

Matthew 7
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”


36 posted on 03/09/2013 10:40:15 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: HangnJudge

Sorry, posted before reading all the responses.

It’s an FR tradition!


37 posted on 03/09/2013 10:42:41 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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Isn't "Plum Island" also known as "Anthrax Island," where they do animal disease research?

Mark

38 posted on 03/09/2013 11:25:20 AM PST by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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To: Gay State Conservative

I would put money on it that they have gov or state taxpayer subsidized insurance for their dwellings due to private property insurers either a) would not insure property or b) it would be exhorbitantly high due to the risk.

So no pity for these people. They like anyone living on the coast from Corpus Christi to Maine are probably at the government trough via taxpayer subsidized property insurance. And if it weren’t for the taxpayer subsidized insurance they would not be there or would have to pay the true cost of living there, which I would bet most couldn’t afford witout the subsidy.


39 posted on 03/09/2013 12:46:22 PM PST by CharlesMartelsGhost
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To: Gay State Conservative; x

Thanks for your responses and info. I have to remember to do research before shooting off a question.

Mother Nature does indeed wreak havoc in every place on earth and we are well informed of the dangers: hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, mudslides, sinkholes, etc., The one obvious risk that could be avoided, or mitigated is ocean tides. Build high and away from the water or don’t build at all. Plum Beach is a sand bar!!!!!!


40 posted on 03/09/2013 3:07:05 PM PST by sodpoodle (Life is prickly - carry tweezers.)
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