FEMA breaks ground on new temporary home location

WHITE CITY, Ore. – The Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA broke ground Friday in White City where they’re building temporary homes for fire victims. The Army Corps said it hopes to get 23 families moved in before the end of the year. But FEMA said they can’t guarantee that will happen.

Dirt is all you see right now at Willow Estates in White City, but it won’t stay this way for long.

“I am humbled and very proud to be part of it to help fellow Oregonians that have suffered so much. And it’s affected people, we all know people personally across the entire state,” said Laura Hicks who has worked with The Army Corps of Engineers for over 3-decades.

While this is FEMA’s second temporary housing location in Jackson County, after the Expo, this is the first that The Army Corps is a part of.

“As we finish part of those foundations their contractor will come in with the manufactured home units, hook up all of the utilities that we’re bringing up to the manufactured home unit, and then they are working to place individual families in each of the units,” said Hicks.

But as colder temperatures near, fire victims don’t know when they can move into this temporary home.

FEMA Representative Jassiel Olivero said it all depends on several, moving factors, such as construction and inspection. However, the estimates roughly 20 days.

“As soon as everything is ready for the units to be placed at willow estates and inspected the survivors are going to be ready to move in,” said Olivero.

Both agencies said they understand what’s on the line and want to get the roughly two dozen families in, as soon as possible. FEMA said 270 families are approved for their housing program in Jackson County.

The agency wants to remind fire victims to continue contacting the FEMA assistance line with any questions you may have at 1-800-621-3362.

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