ARLINGTON, Wash. – Despite rainy weather for the first time since Saturday’s slide, crews made continued progress on rescue efforts. We recovered two additional bodies, bringing our total to 16 fatalities, and we believe we have located another eight.
We will continue debris removal tomorrow and bring in additional heavy equipment to assist on both ends of the slide.
Snohomish County Public Works, in conjunction with the Washington State Department of Transportation, expects to open the Mountain Loop Highway at approximately 1 p.m. tomorrow. This provides drivers with a second route to reach Darrington, but drivers should be advised to use caution because it is a rural mountain highway.
Our DEM call center will continue to take phone calls from friends and family who are missing loved ones, but their hours of operation will change. We will staff the call center from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Outside those hours, callers will reach a recorded tip line. The email@example.com email address continues to be available.
Community Transit expects to announce the start of emergency bus service to and from Darrington this week. The bus serwill connect Darrington residents with grocery and medical services in nearby Skagit County, as well as with job centers in Arlington and Everett, via the Chuckanut Park and Ride in Burlington. More details will be available at www.communitytransit.org.
A crisis care hotline is also now available for those in the community who have been affected by the landslide. That number is 1-800-584-3578, and it is staffed around the clock to provide counseling and crisis intervention.
We’re also opening a Family Assistance Center for relatives and family of those whose loved ones have died. And we expect to open donation management centers tomorrow in Darrington and Arlington.