Christie Seeks $250M for Flood Buyouts
Owners of perpetually flooded homes could be getting bought out through the state’s Blue Acres program, provided Governor Christie receives the quarter billion in funding he’s asking for from the federal government.
Speaking in Lakewood to a group of seniors at the Fairways at Lake Ridge Clubhouse Tuesday morning, Christie fielded a question from a resident whose family lived in a perpetually flooded area and couldn’t sell the home. Christie responded that he is asking the federal government for 250 million of remediation money that would be separate from the money for relief for Sandy victims.
The money would be used to buyout communities in often flooded areas, but Christie notes it would have to be the decision of residents.
“I don’t want to get into condemning property. There is some debate about whether I should just go in and pick neighborhoods that are flooded a lot and just say ‘You can’t live here anymore, we’re condemning your property, go move somewhere else.’”
Adding it’s not for everyone.
“Union Beach, which was fairly well destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, I’ve gone there with my administration to ask the community if they want us to put Blue Acres money there, and they said “No, we want to rebuild.”
While Ocean and Monmouth counties suffered the brunt of the damage from Superstorm Sandy, Christie says it’s the communities in Middlesex County which are suffering the most from recurring flooding.
“Places like Woodbridge, South River, and Sayreville. These have had homes that have been repeatedly flooded by not just enormous event like Sandy, but lesser events like Irene, and even lesser events before that like Nor’easters."
Christie is “fairly confident” they will get most of the money.