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.


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."

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

It was a sound like a jet engine. Then a forest of trees collapsed. And all was quiet except for the calls for help.

LoAnna Langton ran out of her house with her baby boy in her arms. Confused about what had just happened, she shouted for her children and their friends. She knew she needed to have her all her babies close at hand.

"Larry, Larry, did you see those trees? There's a hundred trees that just went down," she screamed to her neighbor, Larry Taylor, who opened his door and poked his head out.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Speaking for the first time since the Oso landslide hit Snohomish County, Washington Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark suggested anti-logging interests want to use the disaster to advance their cause.

In an exclusive interview, the two-term Democrat said he is indignant in the wake of news reports that have focused on past logging on the plateau above the slide.

Snohomish County

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The official death toll from Washington state's mudslide has increased to 27, with the Snohomish County medical examiner's office saying 19 victims have been positively identified. That's up from 24 dead with 18 identified on Monday.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Authorities say the official death toll from the deadly Washington state mudslide has increased to 24, and the number of missing has dropped from 30 to 22.

The Snohomish County medical examiner's office said Monday that it has received a total of 24 victims, and 17 of them have been positively identified.


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is asking President Barack Obama for a major disaster declaration in Snohomish County to make programs available to help individuals, households and businesses impacted by the massive Oso landslide on March 22.

Elaine Thomopson / AP Photo

The death toll has risen to 18 following the devastating landslide near Oso. One bright spot: The number of people missing has fallen dramatically, down to 30.

Searchers are still pulling bodies from the debris, sometimes in pieces. Steve Schertzinger, a chaplain with the nearby Marysville Police Department, described what it was like to deliver bad news to a grieving family member.

"We sat down and I just said, 'Well, the waiting is over.' And then I cried. I cried," he said.

Office of the Governor Flickr

The massive landslide in Oso, has shined a national spotlight on the damage this kind of natural disaster can cause.

But geologists say they don't have comprehensive data on landslides in most places. In fact, the most frequently cited statistic on landslides in the U.S. is out of date.

Authorities have released the names of five of the victims of last weekend’s deadly mudslide in Oso that left at least 25 people dead and dozens more missing.

The Snohomish County medical examiner confirmed the names of five victims. The youngest is 5-year-old Kaylee Spillers. Also killed were Christina Jefferds, William Welsh and Linda McPherson of Arlington, and Stephen Neal of Darrington.


Heavy rain in Friday’s forecast threatens to hinder ongoing search and recovery operations at the side of the catastrophic mudslide near Oso.

Mother Nature is just not cooperating with the hundreds of searchers and heavy equipment operators at the scene of Saturday’s deadly landslide.

Spc. Matthew Sissel / 122D PAOC Washington National Guard

A local fire chief is warning communities around the deadly landslide in northwest Washington to brace for a jump in the death toll Friday.

Meanwhile, fresh crews are rotating in to relieve exhausted first responders. Friday is the seventh day of the rescue and recovery mission at the place known in shorthand as “the pile.”


Gov. Jay Inslee is asking for an expansion of a federal emergency declaration the state received earlier this week in response to a devastating mudslide that has killed at least two dozen people and left many missing.

U.S. Library of Congress

The Oso landslide may go down in history as the deadliest natural disaster in Washington.

On March 1, 1910 an avalanche near Stevens Pass wiped out two snowbound trains killing 96 people. It was Washington’s worst natural disaster in terms of loss of life.

Washington National Guard

The Washington National Guard has now deployed two Black Hawk helicopters to the Oso landslide. On the ground, specially-trained search teams looked for victims in the mud and debris.

Master Sgt. Chris Martin described searching a single house caught in the path of the landslide, which has claimed 25 lives.

Washington State Patrol

It was Saturday morning. State Trooper Rocky Oliphant was watching for speeders on Interstate 5 just north of the Highway 530 exit. Then a call came across his radio.

“Initially, [they] put out the call as a possible flood with a barn roof in the road,” he said.

Oliphant was about 20 miles away. He responded. As he got closer more information came in. It was a mudslide. He remembers coming around a corner.

“There’s basically no words to describe the amount of devastation. Houses in the road, roof in the road, random debris everywhere,” he said.