Special Reports

July 24, 2007

Mobile home park opens up for Greensburg

Residents have begun moving into 300 mobile homes in Greensburg, in what officials hope is a temporary solution for those who lost their homes in the May 4 tornado.

Residents have begun moving into 300 mobile homes in Greensburg, in what officials hope is a temporary solution for those who lost their homes in the May 4 tornado.

Fifty families have moved into the mobile homes, and 30 more were expected to be living in them by the end of the week, said Greg Hughes, a spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which provided the trailers.

Another 220 families were expected to move into the mobile homes in the next several weeks, he said.

"Contractors have been working 24 hours a day for 70 days and built a small town in a very short period of time," Hughes said.

The new 90-foot homes do not have the problems with formaldehyde fumes that have been reported by some Gulf Coast residents who moved into FEMA-provided trailers after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The structures in Greensburg are mobile homes and are built differently than the trailers used in the Gulf Coast, Hughes said.

The Greensburg residents will sign one-year, rent-free leases and have to pay only utility costs. The mobile homes are furnished and the 60-acre area where they are located has unpaved streets. Mail service was expected to start soon.

And if another storm threatens the area, mobile-home residents will have 18 underground shelters equipped with electricity -- all no more than a minute away.

Hughes emphasized that the units are only temporary housing until families rebuild. He expects the community to shrink a little every month until the homes are not longer needed.

"We hope everyone is out within the next 18 months," he said.

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