GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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March 8, 2013

Update: Plum Island house collapses, more homes in peril

Awaiting next high tide

NEWBURY -- High tide this morning has claimed another Annapolis Way house on Plum Island.

Reports from the scene say the house at 41 Annapolis Way toppled from the brunt of the raging sea soon after 8:30 a.m. as high tide hit. It sat at a 45 degree angle, half on the dune and half on the beach, with wreckage and personal belongings spilling out into the waves that lashed at it.

The house is owned by Steve and Lucy Bandoian, as trustees. It was built in 1981 and is valued at $168,900, according to town assessor records. It replaced a building that was damaged during the Bluzzard of '78.

There are two buildings on the lot, leadng to earlier misinformation on the exact address of the damaged home. The land value of the lot is listed at $500,000.

The home was one of about seven that has been previously posted as unstable. It had been teetering on the edge all morning.The house was unoccupied.

While not as serious, other damage was reported along Annapolis Way and Fordham Way during this morning's high tide. Neighbors say that two, or possibly three homes along that stretch of beach may be in peril. Officials at the scene say the next high tide, which will take place around 8:30 p.m., is expected to cause more erosion damage.

In total, 12 homes have been ordered evacuated.

"Everyone is taking a beating," Kathy Connors of Annapolis Way said around 8:45 a.m. "It's beating the crap out of everyone."

In recent weeks, Annapolis Way homeowners have paid to install "coir bags" along the waterside of their properties. These 40-foot-long sandbags form a propective wall against the surf. The wall of sandbags is about a quarter mile long. The bags took a beating in today's storm, and in some areas they have been severely damaged.

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