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Atkins delivers prefab homes to Sandy refugees

Consultant to project manage delivery of temporary houses for New Yorkers.

Atkins is to help parts of New York devastated by Hurricane Sandy by providing temporary housing for those left homeless by the super storm.

Atkins will project manage the delivery of up to 1,250 temporary homes through its Disaster Solutions Alliance (DSA) with joint venture partner URS.

“We are contracted to provide commercial mobile home pods and place them in a commercial site with utilities,” said Atkins emergency management director Steve Glenn.

Contracted through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema), the DSA is initially providing up to 250 mobile housing units in New York state and a further 1,000 in New Jersey.

Glenn’s team is searching for suitable areas for the 23m long and 6.5m wide pods.

The units have two or three beds.

Different challenge

Glenn said the challenge would be different to that faced by engineers in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck the city in 2005.
“In Katrina there was more available land so you could design group sites,” he explained.

“New York and New Jersey are much more densely populated.”

Glenn said the first 250 homes for Nassau, Suffolk and Orange counties in New York state should be ready within 90 to 120 days.

Fema also has the DSA on an “on call basis” and can ask for further engineering help if needed.

Meanwhile New York governor Andrew Cuomo has asked for $30bn (£18bn) in federal funding for long-term reconstruction.

“I think a fair appropriation for this state is $30bn and wise investment for the federal government,” he told a press conference last week.


New York in Storm Readiness probe

New York governor Andrew Cuomo has launched a commission to investigate utility companies’ storm preparation and management procedures following Hurricane Sandy.

Cuomo has been frustrated with the poor response of the utilities, in particular the Long Island Power Authority (Lipa), following last month’s storm which caused power cuts across large areas of New York State.

More than 10,000 Lipa customers were still without power two weeks after the storm struck, although only a handful of customers were still without power as NCE went to press on Monday.

Cuomo has signed an Executive Order to establish a commission to investigate the response, preparation, and management of New York’s power utility companies.

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