Program to buy out flood-prone properties doing well, Christie says

MONMOUTH BEACH – Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday the program to buy out homes from residents in neighborhoods prone to chronic flooding is moving along well.

He received a briefing from Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin Tuesday, and said some 129 homeowners from Sayreville, where several homes in the vicinity of Weber Avenue were destroyed, want to sell and receive fair market value.

He said there are another 70 homes in neighboring South River whose owners also want their homes bought out by the state, and some 90 other homeowners in Sayreville with whom the state is in discussions about buyouts.

“I’m very hopeful that … letters will be sent out to residents who are interested in having the states purchase their homes,” Christie said during a visit Wednesday of areas recovering from Sandy. “They have been repetitively flooded over time not just from Sandy…over and over again, from Irene, from other tropical storms.”

Christie said that having several neighbors willing to sell makes it better, so instead of having a patchwork of homes willing to be bought out, it will enable the state to buy a whole area and convert it into open space.

Christie was appearing at a Monmouth Beach school that recently reopened after it sustained damage from Superstorm Sandy.

Program to buy out flood-prone properties doing well, Christie says