12/21/2011 12:30 EST | Updated 02/20/2012 05:12 EST

High winds set back shipment of Attawapiskat homes

The first convoy of modular homes bound for Attawapiskat has been delayed.

High highway winds tore the protective tarps off the homes on Tuesday.

An attempt to secure new tarps by the side of the highway was unsuccessful, so the convoy had to return to Quebec.

Clarence Boudreau, owner of EHL Homes Limited — the company contracted to build the units — said transporting the homes from New Brunswick to Attawapiskat is challenging.

"It's tough,” Boudreau said. “The logistics of moving them from New Brunswick to Cochrane, and then from Cochrane by their own wheels, and then they go on the train. The wheels are then taken off, up in Moosonee, and they're put onto a flat-bed again, and then hauled to the First Nation."

Boudreau said Wednesday's delay won't affect the homes' arrival in Moosonee by early February — and as soon as the ice road freezes, the units will be shipped to Attawapiskat.

The federal government bought 22 modular homes for the James Bay community two weeks ago.