Photo: Rescue workers continue to work through mud on the west side of the Oso Mudslide on State Route 530 on March 26. Washington Air National Guard members partnered with the civilian volunteers in the search. Courtesy Washington Air National Guard Photo / Maj. Tawny Dotson.)
The PNWER region experienced a major disaster when a fatal mudslide destroyed a neighborhood and a highway in Oso, Washington. The official death toll now stands at 17, but the search for victims continues.
Our friends at United Way of Snohomish County have announced a recovery fund for mudslide relief. Individuals and organizations interested in contributing to the fund can find more information on United Way's website.
"We live in a very generous community. There has been an enormous outpouring of support from people throughout the county, state and across the country," said Dennis Smith, president and CEO of United Way of Snohomish County. "That is why we have established a community-wide recovery fund to assist those affected by the mudslide."
"One hundred percent of the money donated to this fund will go to recovery efforts," Smith added.
In reflecting on the incredible work of volunteers and local agencies, Smith singled out American Red Cross. "The Red Cross and local agencies led by County Executive John Lovick and Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington have done a tremendous job in the relief effort. When the affected communities are ready to start moving toward recovery, we will be ready, too," he added.
United Way will work with local elected officials, community groups and others in Darrington, Oso and Arlington to distribute the funds.
Other PNWER jurisdictions are also coming together to offer condolences and provide support. Premier Bob McLeod of the Northwest Territories responds to hearing of the landslide, “We were saddened to hear of the tragic loss of life due to the devastating landslide in Oso, Snohomish County in Washington State.”
“On behalf of the people of the Northwest Territories (NWT) and as part of the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) family we send our deepest condolences. Since 2009, the NWT has been part of the PNWER family and this tragedy has impacted many as we have personal ties with members like [PNWER President] Senator Kevin Ranker.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved friends and families of the victims.”
More information and resources: