WOODBRIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Crews have begun the process of tearing down dozens of Woodbridge houses bought out by the state as part of a program to help homeowners living in flood-prone areas.
Monique Coleman's Heidelberg Avenue home, where her three sons were raised, was demolished by an excavator Wednesday, WCBS 880's Levon Putney reported.
For the Colemans, flooding from Superstorm Sandy was the last straw.
"There's sadness, of course. My kids spent the better part of their lives here," said Coleman, who now lives in Highland Park. "But I'm just glad that we don't have to continue to go through the kind of frustrations with flood losses that we've had over the years. I guess this is the closure that I was looking for."
Woodbridge Homes In Flood-Prone Areas Torn Down As Part Of NJ Buyout Program
In addition to the Colemans' house, excavators were set to demolish boarded-up homes across the street and were clearing other neighboring lots.
The homes were bought out under the state's Blue Acres program and the families were relocated, said David Glass, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Sayreville, South River, East Brunswick and Woodbridge were the first municipalities approved to have Sandy-damaged homes purchased.
So far, 133 property owners have accepted buyout offers in Woodbridge alone.
"The goal of this program is to move willing sellers out of repetitively flooded areas and create buffers," Glass said.
The buffers will help protect against future flooding.
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