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Katrina rebuild commences

NEWS

WORK TO rebuild par ts of the southern United States battered by Hurricane Katrina began in earnest last week with US giants Fluor and Shaw awarded contracts to put up new housing.

Fluor has been asked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to install temporary housing units in Louisiana for the thousands made homeless by the storm.

The firm has headquartered itself in state capital Baton Rouge. Chief executive Alan Boeckmann said 400 of his employees are drawing up plans for the units under a $100 million contract.

He added: 'We are already mobilising a vast array of resources and are prepared to mount whatever further resources FEMA may require.' Shaw, which has its company headquarters at Baton Rouge, also has a $100 million contract to rebuild housing for FEMA.

Chief executive Jim Berhard said: 'We have already mobilised over 2,000 people and have begun hiring craftsmen and labourers, so that they can participate in rebuilding the region and rebuilding their lives.' The firm is providing temporary roofing and repairs and has also been helping out the US Postal Service.