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Christie to offer buyouts to flood victims

SAYREVILLE, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie has announced plans to use $300 million in federal funding to buy out homeowners whose properties have flooded repeatedly, especially during Superstorm Sandy.

The governor announced the buyout plan Thursday, just before appearing in Sayreville, where about 270 homes were destroyed or severely damaged by a tidal surge during Sandy.

Some of those homeowners have expressed a willingness to sell.

The buyout program will begin in July with about 300 eligible properties in Sayreville and neighboring South River. Eventually, 1,000 homes will be bought.

The state will raze homes that are bought and preserve the land as wetlands.

Sayreville is one of the communities frequently mentioned as a good candidate for the buyouts.

Christie has a town hall meeting at a school in the borough Thursday afternoon.