Washington, DC -- One week after terrorists attacked the United States, recovery efforts continue in New York and Virginia. Joe M. Allbaugh, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), visited the World Trade Center site today and pledged FEMA's continuing assistance and resources.
"This is going to take a ling time for us all to get over," said Allbaugh. "We just started the first funeral services for those brave men, starting with the chaplain. We're talking thousands of funerals. But I will say that if anyone can get through this our country can get through this."
Allbaugh will discuss FEMA's efforts today at a news conference scheduled for 3 p.m. EDT at Laight and West Streets in New York. Allbaugh will be joined by Rick Martinez, incident support team leader for Urban Search and Rescue in New York.
Highlights of the response efforts:
- Nine search and rescue task forces are working at the New York site.
Two more task forces are deploying today and four are being sent tomorrow.
At the Pentagon, three search and rescue task forces are on duty.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is removing asbestos from
streets and buildings around the New York site, as well as cleaning debris
from more than 300 cars. EPA continues air monitoring and is establishing
additional air monitoring stations around the impact site and in New Jersey.
- Water sampling and air quality monitoring stations around the Pentagon
revealed no elevated levels of asbestos or contamination.
- Electric power is being restored in New York to streetlights and small
businesses and will be available to larger businesses on an incremental
basis as the electric grid can handle the load. Service is expected to be
available to all businesses by Saturday morning.
- US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) debris teams have provided assistance
to New York on debris removal issues. So far, the city has removed 45,000
tons to a Staten Island landfill. Engineers believe the task to remove
debris will take approximately 45 days to complete. The city has requested
that USACE provide 12 additional debris specialists. Currently, barges are
being loaded at two sites near Ground Zero. Two additional sites are being
- USACE has also provided a second Deployable Tactical Operations Center to
support New York Fire Department operations at Ground Zero.
- U.S. Forest Service Incident Management Teams are providing portable
shower units, a canteen and other services at the Jacob Javits Convention
Center to support US&R task forces.
- The U.S. General Services Administration has arranged for the use of 50,000 square feet of warehouse space in Bayonne, NJ, to store disaster recovery supplies and donations. Another 200,000 to 500,000 square feet of warehouse space is being sought in Connecticut.