President Obama to visit Oso landslide April 22

President Obama to visit Oso landslide April 22

Credit: Washington National Guard

A U.S. flag flies at half-staff amidst the damage of the Oso landslide.

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on April 8, 2014 at 8:25 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 8 at 4:44 PM

EVERETT, Wash.  -- President Barack Obama plans to visit the Oso landslide area on April 22 and will meet with families, first responders and recovery workers, the White House said Tuesday.

The White House said it plans to release further details about the president's tripin the coming days.

Obama spoke with Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., on Tuesday about the recovery effort.

"He called to say that he's going to come out to visit the site on April 22," she said.

They discussed ongoing assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as the area copes with the disaster.

Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statement about Obama's visit, saying it "will give the president the opportunity to see firsthand the devastation wrought by the slide as well as the incredible community spirit flourishing in Oso, Arlington and Darrington."

"From the earliest days following the slide, the president has closely monitored events in the area and shown his concerns for the victims and their families. He and his team have been important partners in the response effort, and I believe this visit will strengthen those ties as we face the tough work ahead."

The Medical Examiner's Office said 35 people are now confirmed dead and 11 people remain on the sheriff's list of missing from the March 22 slide that buried homes along the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River about 55 miles northeast of Seattle.

Searchers with dogs continue to probe the debris field as the Corps of Engineers builds a berm to reduce flooding.

Work started Monday on the Darrington or east side of the slide with about 300 feet of gravel. When it's completed next week, the 2,000 foot-long berm will act like a levee along the river, said Cameron Satterfield, a spokesman at the joint information center in Arlington. It will allow the corps to pump out a flooded area of about 34 acres so it can be searched for bodies.

Teams of rescue or cadaver dogs from all over the country have been helping search the huge pile of mud, broken trees and house debris.

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