Mudslides

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Western Washington has all the conditions that make it prime territory for landslides: lots of loose material that our glaciers left behind as they carved steep slopes into a landscape that gets lots of heavy rainfall.

Still, predicting exactly when landslides will happen is extremely complex.

Anna King

Residents near the town of Twisp, Washington are digging out from mud that ripped through Finley Canyon last week. Because the record-breaking Carlton Complex wildfires have left soil and rock primed to run downhill, more damage could be on the way.

WSDOT

Heavy rains near Twisp, Washington have triggered flash floods and landslides on hills and ranches left charred by the Carlton Complex wildfire. Highways have been closed in Okanogan County and traffic has been rerouted.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Authorities have identified three more bodies pulled from the debris of the mudslide that swept through the Washington town of Oso last month, leaving four names left on the list of the missing.

The Snohomish County medical examiner's office said Thursday it has now identified all 39 victims it has received.

Elaine Thomopson / AP Photo

The death toll from the mudslide that hit the Washington town of Oso has risen to 39.

The Snohomish County medical examiner's office announced two more victims Wednesday and said it's trying to identify three of the bodies.

Tom Banse / Flags fly at half mast in front of Washington state Capitol.

Flags will fly at half-mast across Washington state until next Tuesday to honor the victims of last month's deadly landslide. Earlier Tuesday, the Snohomish County medical examiner raised the death toll by one to 37. Seven others remain missing.

Courtesy Robin Youngblood

Former Oso resident Robin Youngblood calls the mudslide she survived last month “devastating, horrific and totally unnecessary.” Thirty seven people are confirmed dead, and seven remain missing as crews search for remains. 

Youngblood was pulled from the ruins after her mobile home was flattened. She’s now on a mission to get laws changed to prevent people from building or remaining in slide-prone areas once the danger is known.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The Snohomish County medical examiner's office has now identified all 36 victims it has received from the Oso mudslide.

The office on Friday added the name of 14-year-old Denver Harris of Arlington, who was killed by blunt force injuries. The boy had been on the missing list.

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

As the search for victims of the Oso mudslide continues, scientists are monitoring its effects on endangered fish runs.

The cloudiness of the Stillaguamish River due to sediment washing down after the slide is a big concern. But it looks like initial fears of devastation are giving way to optimism. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Gov. Jay Inslee says he's pleased with the federal disaster relief flowing to the state for last month's deadly landslide in Snohomish County. But during an interview with public radio Wednesday, Inslee said the arrival of the Federal Emergency Management Agency aid does not replace private charity.

AP Photo/The Herald, Dan Bates, Pool

Amanda Skorjanc was sitting in her kitchen with her baby son, Duke, when she heard “what sounded like a truck off a rumble strip.”

“And then it continued, and I thought, ‘Oh, maybe it’s an earthquake.’ And then the light started to shake. The light started to blink,” said the 25-year-old mother.

Skorjanc looked out the side door of her Oso home, and saw nothing. Then she looked out the front door.

“It was like a movie. Houses were exploding,” she said, fighting back tears. “The next thing I see is the neighbor’s chimney coming in through our front door. And I turned and I held Duke, and I did not let him go.”

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The Snohomish County medical examiner's office says one more person has been added to the list of people killed in the Washington state mudslide.

Authorities said Tuesday afternoon that at least 35 people have died, but officials are still working to identify four of them.

AP Photo

Pres. Barack Obama will visit the site of the deadly mudslide in Snohomish County and meet with family members of victims and first responders, Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday.

The governor said the president will visit the community of Oso later this month, during the week of April 21.  His visit will come approximately one month after the disaster.

"This will give the president the opportunity to see firsthand the devastation wrought by the slide as well as the incredible community spirit flourishing in Oso, Arlington and Darrington," Inslee said in a statement. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The death toll from the landslide that hit the Washington town of Oso has risen to 33.

The Snohomish County medical examiner's office says it has received three more victims than previously reported. Of those, 30 have been identified.

Rae Ellen Bichell / KPLU

As the weeks go by after the deadly mudslide in Oso, the number of volunteers helping to clean up the muddy mess is dwindling. But there’s another team working on an invisible mess — the emotional one. They’re volunteer, emergency response chaplains. Long after the funerals are over and the debris has been disposed of, their work will continue. 

Steve Schertzinger, Owen Couch, and Suzanne and Ray Thompson were some of the first volunteers to arrive after the mudslide in Oso. The chaplains will likely be some of the last to leave. 

Since they retired as a nurse and a firefighter, Suzanne and Ray Thompson have bounced from disaster to disaster.

"Tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, ice storms," Ray Thompson recalled. "I've kind of lost count."

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