NEWBURYPORT — Acting Fire Chief Stephen H. Bradbury III reports that a vacant house on Plum Island in Newburyport was damaged by the severe winter storm and bomb cyclone known as Winter Storm Elliott.
Newburyport Fire and Building Department officials responded to and are actively monitoring 15 73rd St, after receiving reports that the building was damaged sometime after 10:30 a.m. Friday when the storm intensified. The house is not occupied and has long been a victim of ongoing erosion on Plum Island.
Officials determined that a rear wall of the house had been washed away in the storm, and the build’s second floor was left as cantilevered from the damage. A safety perimeter already exists around the structure, and new caution tape was placed at the site. Officials do not believe that the building is in imminent danger.
The city has been in regular contact with the property owners, and it is the city’s understanding that the home will be torn down in 2023.
Winter Storm Elliott caused damage, power outages and rapid temperature drops throughout a swath of the U.S.
A bomb cyclone, referred to scientifically as bombogenesis, is a rapidly strengthening and intensifying weather system that experience intense barometric pressure drops of at least 24 millibars in 24 hours and can create intense, hurricane-force wind, flooding and precipitation.
Beach erosion has long been a concern for Plum Island and its residents. This past summer, Newburyport Mayor Sean Reardon and the towns of Salisbury and Newbury announced a $19 million federal project that included the Army Corps of Engineers dredging nearly 300,000 cubic yards of sand from the Merrimack and Piscataqua rivers to fight back against erosion on Plum Island and in Salisbury and in an effort to rebuild Reservation Terrace, a road on Plum Island. The home in question, 15 73rd St., is at the corner of 73rd Street and Reservation Terrace.