March came in like a Lion indeed, with two back to back Nor'easters hitting the seacoast, followed by a third storm in a matter of two weeks. As the first storm threatened to flood over Plum Island Turnpike at hight tide, many citizens wrote in with concern as to how this was effecting the beloved Pink House.
In fact, the several homes across the street in Plumbush Downs and the house just east of the Pink House were all in the same boat... so to speak! The waters came close for four tide cycles in the first storm, which was slow moving and hovered for approximately 36 hours, but they did recede during low tides making the PI Pike passable, giving homes along it a bit of a break. The second and third storms were less severe for our area respectively. There was flooding in several of the establishments along the PI Pike, including the Beachcoma, PI Provisions and PITA Hall (all of whom support the Pink House, with the hall generously donating the space for Pink House meetings).
Barrett reported that the Pink House was just fine!! However much we'd love to replace the roof, there have been no leaks. And windy as it is out there, the Cupola holds up and is weather tight as well.
She sits on a full basement, that due to the fact that she's abandoned, can have a little water on the floor itself - and while we were expecting that the entire basement filled when the PI Pike flooded over, apparently that was far from the case. Barrett noted a clear new water-line of the storms in evidence - but it showed no more than approximately an inch of storm water came into the basement!
Support The Pink House regularly checks and asks the Parker River WIldlife Refuge to repair any broken windows. This house, built in the mid 1920's clearly has shown she was built to last!
Sandy Tilton, Pink House Volunteer/Photographer/Researcher said, "The Pink House has withstood an awful lot in her lifespan. I'm sure there have been worse storms." adding that now so many more people notice and care. And it's true. The number of people who follow pink house news, steadily progresses in their efforts to find a way to preserve, restore and keep her in the community.
Donor Peg Maluphy of Maine said it best when she commented on Facebook: "Nevertheless... she persisted! Rock On, Pink House! "
The Pink House Steering Committee got back to work after the holiday break, meeting on February 6, 2018.
Two of the things determined from that meeting have already been accomplished: The first was to do our annual walk through of the house to be sure she remained secure through the winter. We started this protective action in February/March of both 2016, and did it again in 2017. This year the third annual check up happened on Tuesday March 20.
Pink House Volunteer and Plum Island Resident Bill Barrett, our trusted, HIC/CSL builder, performed the assessment, accompanied by Parker River Wildlife Refuge Manager Bill Peterson. They cover from the cupola on top through the second floor, down the main staircase to the ground floor and through to the basement. They also walk around the house outside, looking for any leaks, foundation cracks, bowed windows, etc..., checking brick and cinder block integrity and making note of any exposed areas. Then we ask the Refuge to please do the basic things on our list to keep her sound as possible as we work to shepherd her through this very long process to secure her for the community.
We believe the success of her holding regardless of what it looks like on the outside is due not only to the strength of her bones, but because Support the Pink House has kept a daily eye on the house. #PinkHouse Volunteers, as well as Bill Barrett and David Dempsey, Steering Committee Building and Land Chairman, report if a window breaks or comes loose, vegetation is encroaching, or people trespass. Support the Pink House immediately asks the Refuge to act and we very much appreciate when they do.
Folks ask us all the time why she isn't able to be refurbished. The Pink House is federally owned, so while we wish we could do more, there are current limits by which we must abide. We would greatly appreciate your help in spreading the good word that her bones are quite sound and she is being regularly checked on and cared for to the extent of our limits, on behalf of the community, as we work behind the scenes.
The second item was for Support the Pink House to call another meeting, as we did last Valentines Day 2017, gathering all the people who are invested in finding a solution around one table to discuss the considerable progress we've made and paths to move further forward. That meeting is set for early May and will include The Pink House Steering Committee, Bill Peterson, Bill Barrett, State Senator and Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, State Senator Kathleen Ives, Morgan Bell, a representative for our district from Congressman Moulton's office, representatives from the Town of Newbury, the Greenbelt, and others.
We'll report on all the developments right here!
Please keep coming to this blog for up to date information, or the public meetings we announce on our Facebook pages Save The Pink House Discussion Group and Support the Pink House.
PLEASE DO NOT TRESPASS!! We appreciate that you are interested, and want to photograph and paint the PinkHouse, but do so without going beyond the side of the road. The Pink House is owned by the Parker River Wildlife Refuge and we respect their property. Thank you!