Weekend closures, lane restrictions impact SR 99, I-5 and I-90

Neighbors frustrated they can’t do more to help search for victims

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OSO, Wash. — The desperate search continues for survivors in the tiny town of Oso. There are dozens of searchers who are scouring the mud for any signs of life.

roofRescue crews have been busy searching on rooftops and digging through tons of debris.

Even though there was a call for volunteers on Tuesday morning, there are plenty of neighbors who are frustrated they can’t help out, too.

“There’s just a lot of people I know down there,” said neighbor Nevie Durant. “I’m not down there digging through the mud. I should be there. All of us feel that way.”

Just getting to the slide is difficult. First responders got in on foot where they were met with towers of mud.

Crews searched on rooftops looking for any signs of life.

Up on a nearby bluff, power crews clogged the only back road into the slide area.

That’s where police turned Durant around.

“They said they had enough people and they didn’t need me down there,” said Durant. “That kind of stung a little bit.”

Neighbors kept showing up at the roadblocks, hoping somehow to get inside and start digging.

Derek Reece hasn’t been in the slide area since Saturday; he says the carnage was like nothing he’s ever seen before.

“It was just mud and debris and people everywhere,” said Reece. “It’s a huge disaster.”

For now the search for survivors is being handled mostly by professional search and rescue teams – including some local volunteers.

But clearly more people are ready to jump in and help anyway they can.

“We’re a small community,’ said Reece. “Everybody knows everybody that was down there.”

The rains fell through most of Tuesday, making the search for survivors more difficult.

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1 Comment

  • Judy Fink

    Derek Reece is my Grandson.Sure a trying time for him at such a young age to search and find 4 bodys. He said Grandma I had to do it. My friends are there somewhere and it was just horific. The devastation was beyond any thing I ever want to see again.He would of gone back everyday.but they turned him away. The dogs are doing the job now. Why didn't they bring them in on Saterday. Was it all about money. My husband went down Saterday and he said it was very disorganized,and I can see this when you arn't faced with this or trained to respond to this.