Winter 2015: Better Known as “Snowmagedon”

Winter 2015: Better Known as “Snowmagedon”

Winter 2015 has been…. well, in my opinion, it’s been INSANE! On the heels of one of the worst storms this season, Plum Island is still reeling from the snow accumulation, the frigid temperatures, the damaging winds. To date, over 7 feet of snow has fallen in the area within the last three weeks, 16″ just in this last blizzard. Our neighborhood has seen snow drifts/snow piles of over 8 feet, with more to come. Over the Valentine’s Day-President’s Day weekend, the island was victim to white-out conditions. Plum Island Turnpike was closed and with visibility near zero, local police and public workers guided residents safely on and off the island. And the weather-related challenges didn’t end there. With an already complex and sensitive sewage system, unforeseeable snow accumulations buried many resident’s “candy cane” sewage vents causing system failure on Northern Boulevard and neighboring streets. Many homes and residents are advised to refrain from using water and sewer until the problems are resolved. Snow plowing and removal has been challenging, heavily taxing exhausted public workers such that the City of Newburyport called in assistance from New York. Where to put it all? That’s the real challenge. Perhaps pile it on the beach to create a natural sea wall of ice and snow. As weary residents come up for air and adjust to this new “normal”, many of us sit on edge dreading the weatherman’s forthcoming forecast. Can we handle more? Sometimes, questions like these aren’t left to choice. Hardy Plum Islanders will just deal with whatever nature throws their...

Early June Storm Pummels Plum Island

An early June storm, combined with astronomically high tides and a full moon cause surging seas to wreak havoc on the coast, particularly Plum Island. Pictures taken just south of the center jetty show extend of the erosion. Click here to open the gallery.Powered by Cincopa wp content plugins solution for your website and Cincopa MediaSend for file transfer. The good news? The Newburyport Daily News reports that with the recent storm damage, the Army Corps of Engineers is currently soliciting bids on the proposed repairs needed to the Merrimack River’s South...

Eagle Watching

With last week’s kickoff of the annual Eagle Festival sponsored by the Massachusetts Audobon society, locals should be on the look out for these magnificent creatures. Every year, Bald Eagles take to the Merrimack River basin, which provides a rich feeding habitat due to the river’s natural ice-free state. The Plum Island river basin and ajoining estuary is prime terrain for both nesting and feeding. Keep a look out for both male and female bald eagles, the latter which are primarily all brownish-black.  At the top of the food chain, and quite large, the female can measure up to 37 inches, with a wingspan of up to 90 inches. Males are slightly smaller with a body length of up to 34 inches and a wingspan between 72-85 inches. While your out looking for the eagle, be reminded that although the American Bald Eagle was taken off the endangered species list in 2007, it is still protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Got a great picture of an eagle sighting? Share it here.    ...

Plum Island Part of the Coastal Trails Network

Did you know about the Coastal Trails Network?  It’s an emerging 30-mile, public system of bicycle and pedestrian trails linking the unique coastal features, town centers, neighborhoods and transportation hubs in the communities of Amesbury, Newbury, Newburyport and Salisbury.   And the coastal trail includes Plum Island. For avid bikers, Plum Island features 2.2 miles of bike lanes connecting downtown Newburyport with the beaches of Plum Island, Plum Island National Wildlife Refuge and Headquarters, Mass Audubon Joppa Flats Education Center and the Plum Island Airport, one of the oldest in the country. And while it’s still winter, the milder weather and lack of snow has brought out bikers and runners alike to utilize the trail.  So if you haven’t yet taken advantage of the trail, don’t wait until spring.  Grab your bike, your running shoes, or just get out and walk and take in the view of the Merrimac River and its surrounding ecosystem.   The views will inspire. Want to know more about the Coastal Trails Coalition (CTC)? Visit their website...

Hurricane Irene arrives

While the center of Hurricane Irene is in New Jersey, Plum Island is experiencing gusty winds up to 35mph and pounding surf. Little rain falls but the arrival has just begun. This slow moving storm is expected to remain in the area well into tonight and possibly Monday morning. So far, no breach of the center beach or flooding of the Plum Island Turnpike. Let’s hope it stays that way. More...

Bracing for Hurricane Irene

In what is being deemed a “rare” and uncommonly large storm, the Northeast braces itself for the arrival of Hurricane Irene. Already a Category 3 hurricane, with sustained winds of 115mph, Irene has already batter the Bahamas as it heads directly towards North Carolina. While the exact track of the storm is still uncertain, it is absolutely certain that New York and New England will not be spared. Hurricane Irene is expected to reach New England Sunday, into Sunday night, but preceeding rain will most likely begin Saturday. For more information and updates, check the weather...