March 26, 2014 |

OSO Update: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 8:45 p.m.

Additional Victims Found at Slide: March 25, 2014

Photo Courtesy: Google Images

Additional slide victims have been found at the landslide site off of SR 530 earlier today. The number of victims has not yet been confirmed.


Volunteer Rescue Worker Sustains Minor Injuries at Slide Site:

March 25, 2014

A volunteer rescue worker was injured while working in the debris area of the SR 530 landslide earlier today. The injury occurred when a small piece of debris was thrown up in helicopter wash and struck him in the head. The injuries appear minor and the victim was transported to an area hospital for evaluation.


Snohomish County News: March 24, 2014

*SR 530 slide update*

It's been three days since the tragic mudslide blocked State Route 530 in the Oso area and I wanted to update you a bit on what the Washington State Department of Transportation is doing.

In general, not a lot has changed from a roads standpoint since I last updated you on Sunday. The road remains blocked from Whitman Road (milepost 36) to 310th Street Northeast (milepost 39) and there is no estimate as to when the road will reopen. The focus continues to be on search and rescue work. The slide area remains too dangerous for WSDOT crews to enter and begin evaluating the road condition. Once the area is deemed safe enough, we are prepared to begin devising a plan to get the road cleared and open to traffic as quickly as we can, though safety is the top priority.

In the meantime, WSDOT maintenance crews have been hard at work trying to clear some of the area to assist with the search and rescue effort. We've also been working with Snohomish County to get the Mountain Loop Highway open as an alternate route. Crews have been using snow blowers and graders to clear the road of snow and it's believed that the road could open as early as Thursday. The Mountain Loop Highway is a gravel road with a 25 mph speed limit and is not suitable for freight or heavy truck traffic but will provide an additional route into or out of Darrington. This is a remote road with limited cell phone service so drivers should be prepared and carry provisions in their car in case of emergency.

WSDOT also continues to monitor all bridges that could be impacted if the Stillaguamish River debris dam breaks and we are on 24/7 flood watch, though the river is carving out a new channel. If a threat to any bridge becomes imminent, we will work with the Washington State Patrol to stop traffic.

The only viable current detour for drivers heading westbound from Darrington is to take SR 530 to SR 20 and on to I-5. Eastbound drivers would take SR 20 to SR 530. This detour takes about one hour so drivers are advised to add extra time to their trip.


SR 530 Morning Briefing: March 24, 2014

Priorities for emergency responders today remains to focus on search and rescue efforts at the landslide. The number of confirmed fatalities is still at 14 and the 176 unaccounted for has not changed since last night.

Additional resources are coming in to the rescue site from local and federal agencies, including county and regional technical rescue teams, FEMA, Urban Search and Rescue Team from Pierce County, several local fire departments, search dog teams, air craft and heavy equipment.

Additional civilian volunteers cannot be utilized right now because of accountability and safety issues.


Number of Missing Now at 176


At last night's press conference, Department of Emergency Management Director John Pennington confirmed that the number of unaccounted for is now at 176. Pennington stressed that this number does not reflect the number of expected causalities or injuries, but represents the number of names that have been reported by family and friends. The number of confirmed dead remains at 14.

Pennington also stressed that the call center (425-388-5088) is only for loved ones of the unaccounted and missing. Information about those who are missing will not be released to the public or media.

"We are asking that the media respect the privacy of those who are displaced and grieving," said Pennington.

Pennington also asked that family members e-mail a photo of those who may be missing to, and include the person's first and last name, as well any distinguishing marks or features.

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