DISASTER: Staten Island homes like this one in Oakwood would be eligible for buyouts.
ALBANY — They want to flee Mother Nature’s wrath on Staten Island — but not in Long Beach.
Residents in the Oakwood Beach and Fox Beach sections of Staten Island overwhelmingly want a buyout Gov. Cuomo is proposing for victims of superstorm Sandy, the island’s state senators said yesterday.
But residents of hard-hit Long Beach want to stay put, according to their assemblyman, Harvey Weisenberg.
Cuomo is pitching a $400 million plan to buy out Sandy victims’ homes for pre-storm value — and in some cases more — so the land could be converted to dunes, marshlands and other natural barriers as protection against future storms.
Sen. Diane Savino (D-SI) said 155 of the 165 homeowners in the two hard-hit Staten Island enclaves delivered signatures to her office asking to participate in the program.
“Mother Nature wants her property back in some areas,” Savino said. “This is an area that quite frankly is ripe for this type of hazard mitigation.”
But she and Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-SI) said it’s not necessarily for everyone — though Rep. Michael Grimm (R-SI) suggested most would be better off to take the money and run.
He noted those neighborhoods “lie in highly flood-prone areas. It simply doesn’t make sense for a homeowner to invest the funds to rebuild in a flood plain, knowing disaster could strike again.”
The buyouts would be paid for with federal disaster relief funds and would need the support of federal officials.