911 calls after mudslide: ‘Everything is gone, the houses are gone…’

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DARRINGTON, Wash. — Calls coming into the 911 dispatch center in Snohomish County just after a large mudslide struck near Oso, Wash., last Saturday reveal the enormity of the devastation.

911 OPERATOR: 911, what’s your emergency?

CALLER : There’s been a mudslide and everything is gone, the houses are gone…what?

911 OPERATOR: Is there any injuries?

CALLER : [indistinguishable]

911 OPERATOR: What’s the address of the family there?

CALLER : No, no, no, there’s been a mudslide, and all I see is dirt and trees falling…

911 OPERATOR: Is there any…

CALLER : There’s no longer…I’m on Seapost Road and Highway 530. I mean there’s not even a house here anymore.

flag and destroyed home—————————–

At first it almost doesn’t seem real. People confused at what they are seeing and hearing

CALLER : There’s so many people yelling for help.

911 OPERATOR: They’ve been dispatched, OK?

CALLER : What happened, can you tell us what happened?

911 OPERATOR: It looks like we had a mudslide in the area.


Snohomish County residents look outside to see total destruction. The mud is 15 feet thick in some spots.

A man calls for help, after getting a frantic call from his wife.


CALLER: There was a mudslide or something, hundreds of trees have fallen outside my house. Um…

911 OPERATOR: Is anybody trapped?

CALLER : I don’t know, there’s a car, my wife said there’s a car and, I don’t know. But she said she stepped out of the house ’cause it sounded like an earthquake was happening, and there’s hundreds of trees everywhere..


911 OPERATOR: 911, what’s your emergency?

CALLER : Oh yeah, I got a big emergency. There’s a house on 530 and a big slide and it is covering a road at the bottom of Skaglund Hill. It’s…

911 OPERATOR: What is it?

CALLER : It’s a house. It’s a house! There was a big landslide! Up on the hill!


Some outside see the power of the slide firsthand.

CALLER : (man speaking in background) Holy crap. There’s at least 2-3 miles of 530…

OPERATOR: 530, is the part that’s blocked then, correct?

CALLER : Oh it’s blocked completely, it’s not partial.



Listen to two of the 911 calls below.

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