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AbledReponders Special Coverage Post Banner shows three photos in the foreground in front of a blurred photo of the mudslide landscape. The first photo on the left shows a field chaplain with his arm around a firefighter's shoulder comforting him. The center photo shows 4 search and rescue responders walking side by side in knee-deep water dressed in orange protective gear as they head toward a collapsed house and a front-end loader in the distance. The photo on the right shows an member of the emergency management team covering his face with his right hand as he gets emotional during a press briefing. The headline reads: The Oso Mudslide: First Responders Face The Trauma Of Recovering Family And Friends.
AbledFamily-Special Coverage Link Box shows a photo of Loanna Langton holding her baby with her children standing behind her as they look for news of the mudslide on her smartphone while staying at a temporary shelter in nearby Darrington after their home was flooded after the Oso mudslide. The headline reads Abled Family: The Oso Mudslide: The Hope And Despair. Clicj here to go to the post.
AbledCoping link box shows a large crowd of people in Arlington, Washington gathered for an outdoor candlelight vigil for the victims and families of the Oso mudslide. Click here to go to the post for more special coverage on how the communities involved are coping.
AbledCauses Special Coverage Post linkbox shows an American flag flying on a post sticking out of the collapsed roof of a home that was crushed and carried away by a massive landslide in Oso, Washington. The bare mud cliff created by the slide is seen in the distance. The headline reads: AbledCauses: The Oso Mudslide: How to Help Survivors of the Washington State Mudslide Disaster. Click here to go to the post.
AbledNews Special Coverage of the Oso Mudslide - CLick here to go to the main Special Coverage Page.
Banner reads: Residents Impacted By Slide Must Register For Federal Aid at 1 800 621 FEMA (3362)

FInally A Break In The Rain Allows A Look Inside The Search & Recovery Effort


It’s seemed like almost every day since the March 22nd mudslide in the Steelhead neighborhood near Oso that the rainy weather has been relentless in making the search and recovery efforts more dangerous and challenging and the fatigue has been showing.


A briefing from Snohomish County officials pointed out that they need more professional search and rescue personnel because the number of searchers has dwindled from the weekend.


Even the specialized dogs brought in to sniff for human remains have been at the mercy of the weather, with two suffering from hypothermia. So while they and other canine teams rested, nine dogs anad their handlers were on the site on Monday. The dogs can smell up to 10m feet deep, but they face a daunting task because the debris field ranges from 15 to 25 feet deep in some places, and up to 60 to 75 feet in others.


A welcome break in the weather made it possible for the responders to make more progress and recover more fatalities on Monday, March 31st, and it also allowed for a first-hand look into the search area. Here’s what King5’s Glenn Farley was able to report:

A Week Of Heartache And Inspiration in The Slide Recovery Zone


The break in the weather couldn’t have come a day too soon as rain-weary search and rescue personnel and qualified volunteers pushed on, still hoping that there might be the slim chance of finding survivors.


For Matt Ingison the week has pushed him to the feeling of utter devastation and then pulled him back to the other end of the spectrum – feelings of camaraderie and inspiration:

Who Rescues The Rescuers?


From the first day of this disaster, scores of emergency personnel have worked long, long hours in toxic, dangerous conditions with a determination that defines what it means to be a hero.


And while those who work as first responders know you have to put away your emotions and focus on the task at hand, this time it’s been different. This time it’s been so much harder to do that because some of these responders have lost family members and many from the local crews have lost friends.


And sometimes when we call on our heroes, we forget that they have human hearts.


In this report from King5’s Meg Coyle, you’ll hear from firefighter Jan McClelland who chokes up when describing how they found a baby’s nursery. Off-camera she explained, “I picked up this little picture book and I rubbed the front of it to get the mud off of it and it said ’20 Things For Little Hands To Do’, and it took my breath away”. It’s for moments like that where the Seattle Police Department’s Critical Incident Stress Management Team will be looking to help:

Oso Slide Search Status

From Snohomish County:

UPDATE APRIL 24, 2014:

Sheriff, Executive to talk April 28 about end of search operations

Snohomish County will discuss plans to end active search operations at the SR 530 slide site at a press briefing scheduled for Monday, April 28. Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary will discuss the decision to end active search operations; County Executive John Lovick and others will speak about environmental issues in the slide area and the county’s long-term efforts to support the Darrington, Oso and Arlington communities.

As debris removal begins, passive search operations will continue. Spotters in the field will work alongside heavy equipment operators to identify personal property that might still be in the slide material. Active search could resume if conditions change, allowing access to areas that were previously inaccessible.

From Snohomish County:


One Month After the SR530 Slide, Recovery Continues

EVERETT, Wash. – One month after the State Route 530 Slide claimed the lives of at least 41 people, recovery continues. Local, state, tribal and federal partners have all collaborated in response to this tragedy.The response of local community groups has been robust from the start. Immediately following the tragedy, the American Red Cross (ARC) began mobilizing response vehicles and trained disaster workers. To date, five ARC vehicles have been active in response and recovery, and a total of more than 400 trained workers – about half of them from Washington State – have responded. ARC has distributed more than 23,600 meals and snacks (in partnership with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief); 1,000 comfort and relief items; and more than 6,800 mental health or health-related contacts have been made. Additionally, ARC shelters have provided 140 overnight stays. The nonprofit has also provided transportation assistance to those who are experiencing significantly-increased commuting times due to the slide.“From the very start, we’ve remained committed to supporting Snohomish County as survivors continue in the recovery process,” said State Coordinating Officer Kurt Hardin. “Our work has only just begun. We’ll stay focused on every disaster survivor for as long as necessary.”

On April 2, 2014, President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for the State of Washington.The declaration made federal funding available to survivors in Snohomish County – including members of the Sauk-Suiattle, Stillaguamish, and Tulalip tribes – through the Individual Assistance program. Assistance may include funding for increased commuting costs and other disaster-related needs. To date, nearly $300,000 has been distributed in disaster assistance to eligible individuals and households through the Individual Assistance program. Additional funding is forthcoming.

Twenty-eight state agencies, as well as the Washington Conservation Corps, and the Washington Service Corps have provided assistance throughout the past 30 days in response to the disaster. Assistance provided to date includes search and rescue, and fatality extraction; security; emergency response and incident management personnel; environmental monitoring and hazardous materials recovery and disposal; aviation services; donations management; and administration of disaster assistance programs, among other services and activities.

All along, federal agencies have joined forces with and supported state and local search and rescue teams. Under a mission assignment from FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed a temporary structure to hold back water and help dry out areas where search teams can complete their work. The barrier – which is called a berm – is 3,000 feet long and made from 20,000 tons of rock, gravel and earthen materials.

Local, state, tribal and federal support of tribal response and recovery needs remains a top priority. Since the slide, there has been a coordinated partnership among tribal and local charitable organizations and other groups. One example is the ongoing work of the Sauk-Suiattle tribe and ARC as they manage direct distribution of food and other resources to tribal members.

FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams continue to provide in-person, tailored information and services. DSA has been in contact with 382 survivors and have already registered 102 survivors for FEMA assistance. They have provided 19 case inquiries (looking up information upon request), 35 case updates (updating information, as needed), and 139 whole community referrals. The teams have visited 17 community locations and 18 business locations.

Approximately 29 local voluntary organizations, Washington Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WAVOAD) members, and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD) have provided multiple services to survivors of the SR530 Slide. These disaster specific services include emergency financial assistance, financial assistance for transportation, emergency feeding, children’s disaster services, hospitality, spiritual and emotional care, and funeral assistance.

Local, state, tribal and federal agencies also continue to use the best resources to support survivors. Experts have been brought in to provide geologic monitoring of the site, incident management and hazardous materials recovery.

Under the Public Assistance program, federal funding was made available to state and eligible tribal and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and debris removal. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will cover 75 percent of eligible costs.

Public Assistance funding will cover eligible costs associated with search and rescue operations. The Washington State Patrol deployed air support, chaplains, perimeter security, traffic control and provided regular records to the medical examination team. Additionally, nearly 600 National Guard soldiers were deployed to assist with the search.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is processing mudflow damage claims. FEMA is working with “Write Your Own” policy partners to pay eligible filed claims as soon as possible. FEMA encourages all homeowners that sustained damage as a result of SR530 Slide to file claims with their insurance company as soon as possible.

In addition to the Individual Assistance and Public Assistance programs, low-interest disaster loans are available to eligible homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit groups through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). As of April 23, nearly $400,000 has so far been approved in SBA loans for survivors of the SR530 Slide.

“We will continue to work with local, tribal and state officials to ensure that every survivor of this tragedy receives all of the disaster assistance for which they are eligible,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Hall. “We remain committed to the mission, and we are looking ahead to a rapid recovery.”

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800 621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800 462-7585; for VRS call (800) 621-3362.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at and; Follow us on Twitter at and on Facebook at

The Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division is responsible for administering federal disaster recovery programs on behalf of the state. The Department’s mission is to minimize the impact of emergencies and disasters on people, property, environment, and the economy of Washington State; provide trained and ready forces for state and federal missions; and provide structured alternative education opportunities for at-risk youth.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants can go to or call (800) 659-2955 (TTY 1(800)977-8339).

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