Oso

Oso Mudslide
3:04 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Survivor Describes Harrowing Landslide Moment

Washington mudslide survivor Amanda Skorjanc, left, talks to the media with her partner Ty Suddarth at Harborview Medical Center, April 9, 2014, in Seattle. On March 22, Skorjanic said she was trapped in a pocket formed by her broken couch and pieces of her roof with her infant son.
Credit AP Photo/The Herald, Dan Bates, Pool

Oso landslide survivor Amanda Skorjanc spoke from her hospital bed at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Wednesday. She and her 5-month-old baby Duke Suddarth are among the few who survived the landslide.

As Skorjanc’s partner Ty Suddarth sits next to her, she describes that moment when the landslide hit.

It carried her and her son 600 feet from where their home once stood.

Transcript: Amanda Skorjanc Recalls March 22 Oso Mudslide 

Ty had just given us a big family hug and he was going into Darrington to the hardware store.

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Oso Mudslide
9:19 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Death Toll From Washington Mudslide Rises To 35

Tayler Drayton, 16, finishes painting words of support on a bus stop on Thursday for those affected by a deadly mudslide.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 5:39 pm

The number of dead from last month's mudslide near Oso, Wash., has now risen to 35, the Snohomish County medical examiner's office said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the medical examiner's office said the last person identified was two-year-old Brooke Spillers of Arlington, Washington.

Snohomish County also said it had removed one name from the list of the missing, bringing that total to 11.

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Federal Disaster
8:40 am
Wed April 9, 2014

President Obama To Visit Oso Landslide Site

File photo of cleanup at the site of the Oso landslide site on April 3, 2014.
Washington National Guard

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 2:47 pm

President Barack Obama is expected to visit the site of the deadly landslide in Snohomish County, Wash., later this month.

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Community Resilience
8:08 am
Tue April 8, 2014

One Man's Story Of Rebuilding After 'Total Devastation'

Mike Peroni's farm in Curtis, Wash. was wiped out by a 2007 flood. It took him and his family years to rebuild.
Liz Jones KUOW

Mike Peroni knows what it’s like to live through a disaster. In 2007, a massive flood wiped out his home and farm in Curtis, Wash., about 40 miles south of Olympia.

For him, stories from the tragic landslide near Oso, Wash., on March 22 have hit an emotional scar.

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Oso Clear-Cut
12:24 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Oso Logger: We Followed Rules, Cut Edge Of Landslide Zone Cautiously

Washington Department of Natural Resources image shows 2004 clear-cut (near dotted purple line) extending into no-logging zone (marked with yellow line) at site of Oso landslide.
Credit Washington Department of Natural Resources

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that land above the Oso landslide zone was logged in 2005. The site was logged in 2004 and replanted in 2005.

The forester who clear-cut land above the Oso, Wash., landslide zone in 2004 says he followed standard procedures and state regulations when logging there.

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Comforting Traditions
7:25 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Funeral Dinners Help Darrington Cope With Losses

Darrington Community Center hosted a meal for librarian Linda McPherson as part of the community's long-running tradition.
Credit KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

The first wave of memorial services honoring the victims who perished in the Oso landslide took place this weekend.

In Darrington, residents gathered to remember Linda McPherson, a longtime resident and librarian. After the service, the community gathered for a meal together. It's a special tradition that goes back many decades in this small community.

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EarthFix Reports
6:15 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Pollution Is Not The Top Priority At Oso Landslide Site, But It Is A Concern

Propane tanks floated to the surface of the massive landslide debris field that engulfed 42 homes near Oso, Wash.
EarthFix Photo/Ashley Ahearn

An orange backhoe beeps in the background as cleanup workers and search dogs slog through the gray-blue clay of the Oso landslide zone. In the distance a muddy American flag waves over hummocks of exposed roots, broken trees and the remnants of the 42 homes that used to line this stretch of highway in the Cascade Mountains northeast of Seattle.

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Oso Mudslide
2:52 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Helicopter Crew Chief On The Heroic Mudslide Rescue

The March 22 mudslide in Oso, Wash., has claimed at least 30 lives.
Credit Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC BY-NC-ND)

The massive mudslide that engulfed Oso on March 22 has claimed at least 30 lives and destroyed dozens of homes.

While the community suffered countless devastation, the helicopter rescue team was instrumental in saving eight people. One of them was 4-year-old Jacob Spillers. His rescue was captured in the video below.

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Natural Disasters
2:49 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Disasters: The Wake-Up Calls That Never Happen

Credit Irwin Redlener's book, "Americans at Risk."

Ross Reynolds talks with Irwin Redlener, author of "Americans at Risk: Why We Are Not Prepared for Megadisasters and What We Can Do." Redlener explains why natural disasters like the Oso landslide are rarely the wake-up calls we'd expect.

Community Response
10:57 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Overwhelmed With Donations, Oso Looks To Managing Flow Of Goods

Shirley Clark surveys the hangar at the Arlington airport where goods for Oso relief have been collected. With donations piling up, she has been walking about with a half-eaten sandwich and trying to keep organized.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Donations of new and used goods are pouring into the town of Oso, Wash., after the devastating mudslide two weeks ago; so many items that officials have been asking for cash donations instead.

It’s taking a massive secondary effort to coordinate just how to store and distribute those items to the people who need them.

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Field Notes From Oso
7:04 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Landslide Recovery Specialist Hopes To Use Drones In Future Rescue Operations

Volunteer Merry Killinger learns from Stacy Noland how to document rescue and recovery efforts in Oso, Wash.
Courtesy of Stacy Noland

Stacy Noland deployed to Oso, Wash., with the Global Disaster Innovation Group Field Innovation Team three days after the fatal landslide there. Noland has worked in rescue and recovery operations following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the 2011 Joplin tornado, and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. His role at the debris pile was to figure out how to make rescue and recovery most efficient. We asked what he has learned so far.

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Wash. Lands Commissioner
4:15 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Goldmark Accuses Anti-Logging Interests Of Exploiting Oso Slide

File photo of the massive landslide that hit Snohomish County in March.
Office of the Governor Flickr

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 3:59 pm

Washington Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark is speaking publicly for the first time since the Oso landslide in Snohomish County.

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Mudslide Tragedy
10:30 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Oso Chaplain: 'They Want To Know They're Going To Be OK'

Washington State Patrol chaplain Mike Neil, right, looks on with a colleague as workers using heavy equipment work to clear debris from the Oso mudslide.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, Pool

Bill Radke talks with Washington State Patrol chaplain Mike Neil about his experiences helping people with the emotional toll of the Oso mudslide.

Neil is there to serve the search crews in the debris field, many of whom are the family and friends of victims. “Put yourself in that position of actually finding that person – that is a very traumatic thing and I’m not sure that they’re really prepared for what they might find,” Neil said.

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Identification Of Deceased
7:40 am
Thu April 3, 2014

The Painstaking Process Of Caring For Oso Victims

Dennis Peterson, Snohomish County Medical Examiner's office deputy director, talks about the tented area behind him used for decontaminating bodies just outside an intake area at the office.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

For many families of victims of the deadly Oso landslide, getting information about the fate of their loved ones has been agonizingly slow.

That's because the work by medical examiners to confirm the identities of the deceased is painstaking and requires time.

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Rescue And Recovery
11:52 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Search Crews Struggle To Define Success In Mudslide Debris

Lieutenant Richard Burke of the Bellevue Fire Department has been out searching in the mudslide debris near Oso, Wash.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

As of Wednesday morning, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s office has confirmed that 29 people have died in the Oso landslide. Hopes of finding survivors are dwindling.

That’s taking a toll on the families and the search crews, some who have been out there since the very beginning, doing intense physical and emotional work. Rescue operations managers are very conscious about giving those crews a break, letting them rotate in and out so they can rest and recharge.

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