Hundreds of sandbags to be installed on Plum Island to protect homes from storm surge

Giant sandbags being moved to Plum Island Beach to help curb erosion

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. — Hundreds of sandbags are being installed along the beach on Plum Island Wednesday to protect nearby homes and prevent erosion.

Mayor Donna Holaday’s office said 500 sand-filled “super sacks” will be placed along Reservation Terrace, spanning out as close to 77th Street as possible.

Each bag weighs about 700 pounds when filled with sand. A pair of excavators were used to move the bags onto the beach Wednesday morning.

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Holaday said the nearby neighborhood has become increasingly vulnerable in recent years as storms continue to wipe away the nearby dune system.

In 2013, several houses had to be torn down because of damage caused by severe storms.

The mayor said she hopes sand will build up against the bags, thus protecting nearby homes from storm surge.

She noted this is just a temporary solution, saying the city hopes to one day “implement an onshore placement of Merrimack River sand along Reservation Terrace,” which would serve as a long-term fix.

Louis Blatt lives by the water. He told Boston 25 News he’s happy to see the city taking action to protect his home.

“Without this, people who have homes there – including myself – will definitely see the storm waters come over this winter and wash several yards of beach away,” Blatt said. “For those people whose homes are on the ground, well, their homes will have water inside them without these bags. So it’s necessary.”