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Death toll in Washington mudslide rises to 37

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - One more victim has been recovered from the mudslide that hit the town of Oso, raising the death toll to 37, the Snohomish County medical examiner's office said Tuesday. The person's name has not been released.

Seven people remain on the missing list, the sheriff's office said.

A search for bodies continued in the debris left when the March 22 landslide raced across the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River and buried dozens of homes in the riverfront community about 55 miles northeast of Seattle.

The slide also covered about a mile of state Highway 530, cutting off the direct route between Interstate 5 and the town of Darrington, which is east of the slide and has a population of about 1,300. Reopening the highway is a priority for residents facing long detours.

It could take one to three months to clear all the mud, trees and other debris, state Department of Transportation officials told residents at a Monday night meeting in Darrington.

In the meantime, residents may be allowed limited use of a temporary access road that has been restricted to emergency vehicles, officials said. Similar community meetings about the highway are scheduled Tuesday evening in Oso and Wednesday evening in Arlington, which is on the west side of the slide.

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moradadavislodi April 15 2014 at 4:28 PM

We all live near danger so that's not the point. The point is to do everything we can to help when something terrible happens. It's not their fault, as you so obviously imply.

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colbean1952 April 15 2014 at 6:18 PM

Yes, they did live near danger. It wasn't the Washington state government that told them first but the 'old timers' many many years ago. This was a close knit town and still is. It is a small logging community that sticks together no matter what. These are tough strong people. So if you mouse mazers which sit in your ivory tower can not understand this then that is YOUR loss. OSO strong!!!!!!

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1 reply
Danielle colbean1952 April 15 2014 at 8:39 PM

Amen! I'm from the area, and know exactly what you're saying. It's sad that some folks have nothing better to do than to try and find blame and yammer about things they don't know anything about. #OSOSTRONG

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calvin5445 April 15 2014 at 9:15 PM

every one dies. this is tragic and life can be tragic. These folks lived where they wanted to live. They enjoyed living where they wanted to. Sad that Mother Nature took them....that is life. They lived the life they wanted. None of us get out alive, better to live how you want with the time you have.

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asgjim April 15 2014 at 9:21 PM

I lived in KC when the big flood hit whipping entire towns of the map. These towns were built in flood plains and they knew it, had be advised of the danger and offered aid to relocate all of which was ignored. They did not do this because they were stupid, they did it because of things like heritage, community, pride. We all have done things that were "stupid" for one or another reason in our lives, most of us get lucky and never have to pay the price, for other the luck runs out. Does this constitute a tragedy that we should mourn? Yes and No, we are all a product of our up bringing and on a certain level the follies of our parents which we proudly and blindly carry into our adult lives. This deserves some small measure of mourning, but the greats measure should be reserved for the children who's choices were made for them by such adults. Over 40 lives lost to a preventable mishap is a tragedy but not as tragic as 3 lives lost to a bigoted, hatred inspired shooting.

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wd4u2 April 15 2014 at 3:02 PM

I hope the powers to be in WA government will now heed the written warnings from waaay back in 1999--do NOT REBUILD on that site anymore! Stupid people do stupid things, and WA is full of stupid people-- in designing roads , town sites, and esp buildings!! (i.e. putting a child's play area in the middle of ALL WA libraries where adults want QUIET time!) This isn't rocket science!

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3 replies
mgoguey April 15 2014 at 3:03 PM

I'm sure the WDOT could cut the time required to open the highway considerably if they were to organize a WPA type project and at a considerably less cost also. All it would take is a lot of shovels.

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2 replies
JRivers mgoguey April 15 2014 at 4:32 PM

They are still recovering those killed in the slide, be a little more respectful. Also, they have said there are toxic concerns, why don't you get out there with just a shovel? I don't think reopening the highway is the top of the list of priorities.

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colbean1952 mgoguey April 15 2014 at 6:14 PM

Have you been to the sight? Have you seen the devistation? If you had, you wouldn't have made such a moronic statement. I have been there and there is still a great deal of danger for the rescue teams. Use your brain

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Jean Hayes April 15 2014 at 3:16 PM

Why do people live near such danger !

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5 replies
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