SALEM, Ore -- Since early December 2007, the residents of Vernonia, Oregon have been coping: first with flood waters that inundated their small community; then with cleanup; and throughout with delays in getting adequate temporary housing. The residents, the City of Vernonia, Oregon Emergency Management (OEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have worked tirelessly to locate, site and test mobile homes for displaced Vernonia families.
Finally, the results are in. The State of Oregon has accepted all 13 of the mobile homes tested for formaldehyde. Within days the new, 60-foot, 3-bedroom mobile homes will be on their way to Vernonia.
"It is important to us to house these families as close to home as possible," said Oregon Governor Kulongoski. "Oregon Emergency Management has evaluated the results which show that the levels are similar to those found in newly constructed wood frame houses."
Families displaced from their homes since the December floods will occupy the mobile homes temporarily while their homes are rebuilt and they rebuild their lives.
Testing unoccupied units before releasing them for occupancy is the latest in a range of proactive measures FEMA is taking in response to recent formaldehyde findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
FEMA?s Oregon field office is testing a second set of 13 homes and is planning to order more homes from a FEMA staging area. All new units coming into Oregon already will have been tested. The first 21 mobile homes to complete the testing and be accepted by the state will be located in the new mobile home park on Maple Ave. in the heart of Vernonia.
"This has been a long road for the residents of Vernonia," said Glen Sachtleben, federal coordinating officer with FEMA. "The patience shown by the town and residents is inspiring."
FEMA is negotiating with another land owner in Vernonia to create more mobile home sites. "We won?t quit until we place all eligible families who requested a mobile home," said Sachtleben.
FEMA coordinates the federal government?s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror