GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Top Stories

March 11, 2013

Seawall at center of Plum Island saga

PLUM ISLAND — Stephen Bandoian spent the weekend trying to figure out how his once well-protected oceanfront home on Plum Island essentially turned to rubble in a matter of months.

From Florida, where he spends much of the year, Bandoian could only rely on reports from family, friends and the media as his home at 41 Annapolis Way gave way Friday to high seas and collapsed onto the ravaged shoreline below.

“This should have never happened — never, never never happened,” he said Friday afternoon.

A decade ago, the dune in front of Bandoian’s house was so high it obscured his view of the ocean, he said.

“If you stood on the deck, you would see the ocean on the horizon, but couldn’t see the beach,” he said. “It was above the 100-year water mark. It was high, high up on the dune.

“... Something changed there. There’s a reason that the dune stopped building out and started being chewed back in.”

Bandoian said his house made it through last year undamaged. But he began fearing the worst in December, after his repeated attempts to gain permission to repair the recently exposed seawall in front of his house remained stalled. For years, the seawall had been buried deep beneath the dunes, only to resurface with the worsening erosion.

With the seawall compromised, this season’s volatile storms dealt successive blows — damaging, then destroying his deck before the next hit undermined his house a bit.

Friday, the house simply gave way, and on Saturday, wrecking crews were tearing it down to prevent it from washing out to sea and its debris from damaging other homes.

A frustrated Bandoian said it’s unfortunate he was prevented from doing what he and his engineers felt was necessary to protect his house.

“I was told by engineers that if the seawall was repaired properly and the home was properly armored, then it would be fine,” he said. “That’s all I have to go on.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Top Stories

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue