Photo/Nantucket Conservation Commission
Work crews on a Nantucket beach today removed remnants of a home that slipped into the Atlantic Ocean this week, the fifth dwelling in the past decade lost to erosion on the southwestern end of the island, an official said.
"The house is, as we speak, being removed from the beach in pieces, right into a dump truck," Dirk Roggeveen, head of the island's conservation commission, said this morning. "It didn't just tilt forward; it fell over the bank and onto the beach."
The 1,144-square-foot, wood-shingled home was built in 1978, according to a recent assessor's report. With the house teetering on the edge of a 10-foot bank, the Ohio homeowners had been searching for another lot to move the building, Roggeveen said.
"When they purchased the house several years ago, it was relatively close to the bank at the time," he said. "They had requested permission to shore up the bank with sand."
But the storm late Sunday and early Monday proved too much for their stopgap wall. The home's perch along Sheep Pond Road is often battered worse than any other area of the island, Roggeveen said.
"Between Sheep Pond Road and the West End of the island is the worst erosion rate in the state," he said. "It's the exposure to Atlantic storms; it gets tremendous wave energy during storms."
Several years ago, a bend in the dirt Sheep Pond Road was washed away. The island is now looking to shift another bend in the road that is also in danger of falling into the ocean, Roggeveen said.
In the past decade, 10 homes in the area have been moved back from the coast, which has receded 40 feet to 50 feet in the same period, he said.
The homeowners, James and Donna Wyland, were unavailable for comment as they traveled back to Ohio from Nantucket, where they recovered possessions from their lost summer home, according to Mr. Wyland's secretary. Roggeveen said the ocean-front lot, assessed at $460,000, cannot be built on again.
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