NEW YORK (AP) — New York state officials have offered to buy all 129 homes in a flood-prone neighborhood devastated by Superstorm Sandy.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo (KWOH'-moh) announced Monday the state was extending its Sandy buyout program to homeowners in Staten Island's Ocean Breeze neighborhood. The enclave is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and a tidal marsh on three others.
Two neighborhood residents drowned when Sandy struck last year. Floodwaters knocked down 20 houses. Most of the other homes were badly damaged.
Cuomo says the storm showed the neighborhood should be returned to nature.
Residents will be offered the pre-storm value of their ruined homes.
Participation is voluntary. The president of the civic association says at least 117 owners plan to say yes to the state's offer.