DARRINGTON — This morning, dozens of people from as far away as Lake Stevens volunteered to help in the exhausting effort to find the dozens of people that remain missing after a mudslide destroyed the community of Oso over the weekend.
Volunteers began to arrive at the Darrington Fire Department at 6:30 a.m. prepared to begin the search process at sunrise. Crews are allowing a limited number of volunteers to go beyond the barricades designed to keep residents safe.
Many people have ignored those signs to search for loved ones over the last couple days.
The mayor of Darrington Dan Rankin said the community has seen such an outpouring of volunteers, he requested that people stop showing up to search. Rankin said in the future, only people from the Darrington community will be allowed to join in the search.
“The outpouring of support is tremendous,” Rankin said.
One of the many volunteers drove through the night to help out. Erik Jonas brought a shovel, ax and chainsaw but he admits he has no search and rescue experience.
“I’m just here to try and help,” Jonas said. “I just heard the call. They needed people. I haven’t done anything. I just drove out here”
Linda Tade is a petite woman who has lived in Darrington for many years. She recognizes many of the faces among the missing. She said she’ll be out searching in the muck.
“Because they need help,” Tade said. “There’s a lot of sad stories here and they need help. This community has given to me. I want to give back.”
Trevor Strotz is missing work to help in the search effort but he says there is no place he would rather be. His family has been devastated by this event.
“It’s just hard to come up here and see cousins so heartbroken. People so close to them. They’re still not found. They’re out there missing and it’s heartbreaking,” Strotz said.
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