Almost nine months after Superstorm Sandy slammed the Garden State, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has announced more buyouts of flood-prone properties. 

Governor Chris Christie and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announce the first post-Superstorm Sandy buyout offers were made this week to Sayreville homeowners (Tim Larson, Governor's Office)

Last month it was announced 129 homeowners will sell their properties to the state in Sayreville, and during a visit to Middlesex County today, the governor said applications have also been received from 76 interested property owners in South River.

The homes will be razed and the land will be maintained as open space that can handle future flood waters.

“We are committed to the process of moving willing sellers in flood-prone areas out of harm’s way, we promised these residents an expedited buyout process to help them move on with their lives as quickly as possible, and we intend to keep that promise,’’ said Christie during a late morning news conference.

DEP Commissioner Bob Martin added, “We know these are very difficult choices for families to make, to sell their homes and move from places they have long lived, we are committed to moving this process along quickly and smoothly, to work closely with FEMA to get applications processed promptly, and with minimal red tape, so families impacted by Sandy can move on with their lives and start over again.”

The buyout offers are part of the Administration’s overall plan to acquire approximately a thousand homes impacted by Sandy and another 300 repetitively flood-damaged homes in the Passaic River Basin at a total estimated cost of $300 million.

The state plans to continue to submit buyout applications to FEMA for other properties on a rolling basis over the next several months. Officials are particularly interested in targeting clusters of homes and entire neighborhoods for buyouts.