'Disaster Inside Of A Disaster,' The Closure Of Highway 530 | KUOW News and Information

'Disaster Inside Of A Disaster,' The Closure Of Highway 530

Apr 11, 2014

State Route 530 has been blocked since the Oso mudslide on March 22.
Credit Courtesy of Washington State Patrol

It's been three weeks since the massive mudslide hit the town of Oso, Wash. The closure of Highway 530 is just one of the many challenges facing the local residents.

Steve Scher talks with Travis Phelps, spokesman for the Department of Transportation, about the challenges of restoring Highway 530.

"We're estimating there's about 150,000 cubic yards of debris, just from the highway alone," he said. "To put that in perspective, this is about 15,000 dump-truck loads of material."

Phelps also acknowledges the need to be respectful of potential human remains still buried in the mud. "That's really going to increase the time it takes to clear this roadway to make sure we can get in there and identify anyone we found and do this slow, meticulous work," he said.

Ross Reynolds also talks with Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin about how his town is coping with its loss of easy access to I-5.

"The actual event took place several miles from us, but the impacts are definitely felt in this community," Rankin said. "A commuter that has a lower paying wage of $15 an hour that was getting by living here now can't drive around. They either have to find housing down below or they have to quit their job and stay here if they have family and kids."