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SPOTLIGHT

1. RISK:

N.J. town, flood-soaked and weary, tries to back away from the water

SAYREVILLE, N.J. -- Jittery residents entered town hall here two weeks ago. A line of them formed by lunchtime as they waited to submit the paperwork that they hope will take their homes away, as part of a local plan to buy out 250 houses along this spill-prone branch of the Raritan River in northern New Jersey. Sayreville officials see the buyout program funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as key to alleviating the pain of future floods. That's in sharp contrast to the plans of other New Jersey towns. While many communities are raising homes, Sayreville is planning to raze them.

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