In case you missed it, here is the video from Channel 7's evening news about the (2-hour) emergency meeting called yesterday to discuss erosion on Plum Island. There does seem to be extra sand there, by the tide line, but I wonder if it will migrate back to the dune on its own?
Well, I'm no expert (although I do play one on this blog). Anyway, the Daily News is reporting that the other emergency measures (excluding the beach scraping) were approved late yesterday, for the homes in Newbury. It's worth noting that the other measures are relatively inexpensive.
I don't see any mention of Dr. Hemani's property on 55th St. in Newburyport being included in the emergency certification and who will actually pay for the hay bales, etc., in Newbury. Hemani forked out $20,000 about 18 months ago for sand bags, sand and permits.
Did I say before that someone said to me that expecting the government to bail homeowners out of this is a little .... er .... Socialist? The town does own the beach, after all, the person noted, and when Sen. Bruce Tarr asked someone (anyone) to step up to submit a proposal to the state for beach scraping, no one stepped up. And Tarr wasn't even asking for money; he was just asking for a proposal. It seems rather capitalist to me (expending public funds to protect revenue from property taxes and tourism as opposed to looking at it as saving people's homes). Any thoughts on this?
(Residents did pay for beach scraping in the past and they do pay for snow fencing and beach grass, apparently, on their properties on the primary dune.)
I was over at Hemani's (summer) house last week, after I wrote the story for the Current, and he has imported sand in to bolster the structure, which was sitting on the edge of the dune after the Feb. 25 storm. He is a little miffed that Newbury gets all this attention, emergency certification, etc., and Newburyport gets nothing. Plus he was denied a permit to repair/replace his sand bags after the storm.
But Newbury pushes for it, don't they? Then again, it is the Plum Island Foundation, not the Newbury Part of Plum Island Foundation.
The man from MEMA (the Mass. Emergency Management Agency), Peter Judge, said that there is little hope of getting FEMA funds because FEMA only likes to fund permanent fixes. Scraping the beach has about the same shelf life as the beach nourishment (since it's basically the same thing, only with fewer elaborate calculations about beach slope thrown in), which is 5 yrs., max.
Toss in there the fact that no one is quite sure what the permanent fix might be - it's a complicated shoreline - and you've got mass confusion (pun intended).
2 weeks ago