Official: 108 Names on List of Missing in Mudslide

ARLINGTON, Wash. - Emergency officials announced Monday that it has 108 reports of names of people missing or unaccounted for after a massive mudslide that hit rural Snohomish County Saturday, primarily affecting the communities of Oso and Darrington.

Fire District 21/22 Chief Travis Hots said no more bodies were found overnight Sunday into Monday. He said the ground remained unstable.

More local and federal resources are being brought in to help, including personnel, aircraft, search dogs and technical rescue experts.

The Washington State Department of Transportation is also bringing in heavy equipment to clear the mud.

There are 108 reports of the names of people who are missing or unaccounted for, said Snohomish County Emergency Management director John Pennington.

Pennington wanted it to be made clear, however, that does not mean there are actually 108 people missing – just that there have been that many names reported. Some of the reports are very specific while others are vague.

"In some cases, that list is very detailed. It's 'John, who has brown hair, blue eyes and lived in this particular neighborhood.' In a lot of cases, it's a name like Frank, 'I met him once. I think he lived over there,'" said Pennington.

Pennington also said the county is trying to streamline the effort to find out who is missing.

They have set up a call center to take information, said Pennington. It cannot answer questions.

Resources coming to Darrington include a reader board that will send out an AM radio broadcast with updated information.

"We will use every federal resource available to help support Snohomish County, the city of Darrington, the community of Oso and the individual families who were affected by this," said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Washington.

Cantwell said FEMA and the U.S. Department of Transportation has been called in to help with resources.

The 1-square-mile slide critically injured several people -- including an infant -- and destroyed about 30 homes.

The slide wiped through what neighbors described as a former fishing village of small homes -- some nearly 100 years old.

Pennington said there were 49 parcels of land in the slide area that had homes, RVs or a cabin in the slide area. Twenty-five of those were occupied full-time and ten were occupied part-time or vacation homes. Information on the others were not known Monday morning.

Officials described the mudslide as "a big wall of mud and debris." It blocked about a mile of State Route 530 near the town of Oso, about 55 miles north of Seattle.

Authorities believe the slide was caused by ground made unstable by recent heavy rainfall.

The slide blocked the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River. With the water pooling behind the debris, authorities worried about downstream flooding and issued an evacuation notice Saturday. The water had begun to seep through the blockage Sunday afternoon, alleviating some concerns.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for Snohomish County through Monday afternoon.


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