All recovered victims now identified
The Medical Examiner’s Office now has identified all 36 bodies recovered to date from the March 22 mudslide east of Oso.
There are still seven other people considered missing.
Officials acknowledge they may not be able find everyone.
The chance of recovering more victims may be aided by draining floodwaters from the southeast portion of the slide area. Crews from the county Public Works Department and the Army Corps of Engineers have spent nearly a week building a temporary berm to help that effort.
Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday visited with firefighters in Oso and Arlington.
“I got to meet with the Oso volunteers who were so amazingly professional during the first hours after the slide,” Inslee said.
The governor also traveled to the debris field to see the hundreds of workers searching the area.
At Arlington’s Post Middle School, classmates of 13-year-old slide victim Jovon Mangual, wearing yellow — Jovon’s favorite color — impressed the governor with their “acts of compassion and inspiration.”
“They’re helping themselves mourn through the loss of one of their classmates,” Inslee said.
A memorial service for Jovon and 2-year-old Brooke Spillers, one of his two sisters killed in the slide, is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday at Smokey Point Community Church.
Amanda Skorjanc, who survived the mudslide along with her 5-month-old son, was discharged Friday afternoon from Harborview Medical Center. Skorjanc has been transferred to another facility for inpatient rehabilitation.
Three FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers have opened to assist residents affected by the mudslide. FEMA reported that more than 400 people or families had registered for help.
Some people in Darrington might be denied FEMA assistance because of how the system is set up, according to the agency. Federal and state officials are working on a fix.
Highway 530 remains closed indefinitely. Before rebuilding the road, engineers must consider the changing course of the North Fork Stillaguamish, the composition of the soils in the area, and more, chief construction engineer Linea Laird said.
Public meetings about the highway are planned for Monday in Darrington, Tuesday in Oso, and Wednesday in Arlington.
The state may eventually consider allowing public travel on the service road, but that’s not possible yet, Laird said.
Crews also plan to re-stripe the detour route on Highway 20 between Concrete and Darrington starting Monday, Laird said.
State troopers on Friday wanted to make it clear that the disaster area is not a tourist attraction. The slide is not visible from the checkpoints on either side of Highway 530. Only locals and emergency workers are allowed to drive past the checkpoints.
A moment of silence is planned at Oso Community Chapel at 10:37 a.m. Saturday to commemorate three weeks since the mudslide. Afterward, a Seattle firefighter who is deployed to a search team working at the slide will play “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes.
Herald writer Rikki King contributed to this report.
Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, email@example.com.
Highway 530 meetings
Snohomish County and the state Department of Transportation have scheduled three meetings to discuss the situation regarding Highway 530, which was blocked by the March 22 landslide.
*7-9 p.m. Monday at the Darrington Community Center, 570 Sauk Ave.;
*7-9 p.m. Tuesday at Oso Community Chapel, 22318 Highway 530;
*6-8 p.m. Wednesday in the Main Hall at the Stillaguamish Senior Center, 18308 Smokey Point Blvd., Arlington.
Meanwhile, help with costs related to the detour is available from the Snohomish County Transportation Coalition at www.sssc.org/transportation/snotrac.htm or 425-265-2226.
People in Darrington who need help with flooding damage also can call Mountain View Baptist Church at 1-360-436-0319.
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