Oso Update: March 22, 2014 at 3 p.m.
Oso mudslide kills at least 2, missing still unknown
It has been confirmed that two people have died as a result of the landslide across State Route 530 between the cities of Arlington and Darrington. Identification of the victims is pending from the Snohomish County Medical Examiner.
The landslide was first reported around 10:45 this morning at the 29400 block of SR 530, near milepost 37. At least six houses have been confirmed to have been destroyed, but we are still assessing how many other structures may have been affected. The cause of the slide is believed to be ground water saturation from heavy rainfall in the area previously this month.
The slide has cut off the city of Darrington and is blocking the North Fork of the Sillaguamish River at Whitman Rd. First reports are that the slide is at least 45 yards wide and 60 yards across. SR 530 is completely closed and the public is asked to avoid the area.
Several emergency response crews have since responded, including Washington State Patrol, Department of Transportation, Department of Emergency Management (DEM), US Navy, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and most all of the fire department agencies in north Snohomish County.
One helicopter with the Sheriff’s Office is currently transporting victims and the other helicopter is surveying the area from the air for DEM. Among those transported from the area were at least five adults and one six month-old child to local hospitals.