The federal government has awarded New Jersey $26.3 million to enable it to buy 89 homes in flood-prone sections of Woodbridge.

Hurricane Sandy churns off the east coast
Hurricane Sandy churns off the east coast (NASA via Getty Images)

The state is in the process of buying homes from willing sellers affected by Superstorm Sandy to preserve the land as open space and protect against future flooding.

Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday the Federal Emergency Management Agency has now approved $100 million for the purchase of 361 homes in Sayreville, South River and Woodbridge.

These communities sustained extensive flooding from the Raritan River, South River and Woodbridge River, as well as storm surge from the Raritan Bay, during Sandy.

"We continue to make excellent progress toward our goal of moving willing sellers in flood-prone areas out of harm's way," Christie said.

So far, the state's Blue Acres Program, run by the Department of Environmental Protection, has made 272 buyout offers in Sayreville and South River.

It has closed on 27 Sayreville homes, including four in the past week.

Of the 272 buyout offers made in Sayreville and South River, 155 have been accepted by residents in both towns.

Christie said his administration has committed more than $300 million to the buyout program targeting 1,000 properties in tidal areas affected by Sandy, and another 300 properties in the Passaic River Basin that have repeatedly flooded. The Blue Acres program also is working on potential buyouts in East Brunswick, Linden, Manville, Old Bridge, Neptune, Newark, and Union Beach, and is discussing expanding the program to other communities.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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