It's really hard to describe the site of the disaster and I need to be careful of the information that is released.It's an odd situation to be stuck between providing information for those who must be curious about what is going on and not violating the security imposed by the many agencies involved.We have been discouraged about talking to the press.The constant false rumors about the imminent collapse of the Millennium Hotel and 1 Liberty Plaza over the past 3 days resulted from interviews with justifiably frightened construction workers instead of information being released from official sources.See the following article from the New York Times at: 
 
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/14/nyregion/14COLL.html?searchpv=past7days

 
 

What I can tell you is that I have worked at the site for the past three days, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.Each day, the construction crews make more and more progress in clearing debris from the surrounding areas and the fire crews press harder and harder to gain closer access to the center of the wreckage.Each day, access through the perimeter has become harder and managing the numbers of people at the site has become more difficult, but things are starting to become more organized.You can imagine the chaos of trying to run such a large scale operation and still maintain security.

SEAoNY (Structural Engineers Association of New York) under the direction of Thornton-Tomasetti has been providing 6 teams of 4 engineers on three shifts around the clock to monitor existing conditions and to assist the 4 construction crews clearing the site. 

When at the site, it is very easy to get caught up in the work that has to be completed.Sometimes there is very little to do and then all of a sudden you have to respond to a series of emergency issues.Currently the hottest issue is getting the equipment as close as possible to the center of the site.The amount of resources available is amazing - only in NYC could you assemble this quantity of equipment and people in one spot in such a short period of time.The hard part is getting it as close as possible to the center of the site since the area is surrounded by subways and underground vaults, not to mention that the plaza of the WTC complex is a framed slab which can support only limited loads.

The response of the public has been overwhelming - from lining the streets, applauding and chanting USA as rescue teams walk past to the outpouring of supplies and donations.Everywhere you look in NYC you see Red, White and Blue as I am sure is the case throughout the country. 

Today was my first day off.I return Sunday for the 4:00 pm to Midnight shift.It gave me time to watch the news reports and to bring my thoughts back to the human tragedy.I have been encouraging everyone to try to get their lives back to normal as soon as possible, but this event will catch up to all of us over time. 

One joyous note to pass along.A healthy George Bodenschatz, the son of Mark and Heather, was born at about 8:00 am on September 11th, before any of these events took place.