Nearly two dozen Pearl City homes built in a flood plain are coming down.

The state finally signed off on the city’s grant application after four years of waiting.  Pearl City will buy 22 homes that deal with constant flooding and demolish.

The city closed on three of them Wednesday.  Two more are expected Thursday.

“It’s actually a big deal,” said Mayor Robert Knoup.  “We don’t have to go through the damage that we go through every year.  It won’t stop the floods.  But, it’s a moral obligation to the people.”

Knoup said the city applied for the grant four years ago.  But, the state budget crisis held it up.  Pearl City also must front the costs for the project.  Once it’s complete, the state will reimburse them with the grant money.