Christie Talks Buyouts at a Town Hall [AUDIO]
The governor praised the program's progress so far, and pointed to increased buyout activity once New Jersey receives its second round of federal aid.
"We've asked for even more money in the next traunch to go towards buyouts," Christie told a standing-room-only crowd. "We're also looking into Old Bridge and Linden, and additional Sayreville residents who have not been previously identified."
More than 170 homeowners throughout New Jersey have already accepted voluntary buyout offers from the state, Christie said. In South River alone, 11 homeowners closed on the offers.
"We're not going to make people leave their homes if they don't want to, but we're going to encourage them to really think about it because this can happen again," Christie said.
Municipalities can use the acquired property, once the homes are demolished, as open space to serve as a buffer against future storms.
The governor said taking this route can end the "nightmare" for some families.
"They don't have to worry again when they hear about a hurricane warning, or a nor'easter warning," Christie said. "They can move to a place with the money that we paid them for their home to be able to not have to worry about that again."