Plum Islanders request post-storm help

With several houses destroyed and many others in peril as the result of damaging storms this winter, Plum Island residents are calling for both short-term and long-term action. Several aired their grievances at a meeting late last month before representatives of the state Department of Environmental Protection, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and the state Office of Coastal Zone Management. Residents are asking that they be allowed to take action to repair beaches, sand dunes, or barriers, either with state and federal assistance or at their own expense. Others are seeking assistance, reimbursed at up to 75 percent through the federal hazard mitigation grant program, to raise their existing structures up on pilings. Meanwhile, Newbury officials are working to draft a measure that would provide property tax relief to those whose homes were damaged or destroyed. Residents also recently held a beach cleanup, and Plum Island center and the barrier island’s southern beaches have been reopened to the public.