On March 22, 2014
The single deadliest landslide in United States history
On March 22, 2014 at 10:37am, the SR530, or "Oso", slide engulfed the community around Steelhead Haven.
The mud and debris from the adjacent mountainside destroyed 49 homes and ended the lives of 43 people. Community members immediately responded, bringing excavation equipment and shovels to help with the search and rescue effort.
At times they were digging with their hands. Those who came were there to help, to find survivors, and later to recover friends and loved ones. As the response extended, those involved became determined to bring as much comfort to those who lost family and they did not stop searching until July 22, when the last of the 43 victims was recovered.
The response was massive
More than 900 local, state, tribal, and federal responders worked alongside, trained and untrained volunteers, families, and neighbors who came to help with the search, rescue, and recovery operations. People worked together while fighting cold weather, rain, quicksand-like mud and large areas already inundated with water.
The community bonded together
Families were grieving the loss of loved ones. There was widespread loss of personal property, the inability to commute to work, and businesses lost access to their employees, customers, and supplies.
The extent of the disaster
The mud, soil and rock debris left from the mudslide covered an area 1,500 ft long, 4,400 ft wide and deposited debris 30 to 70 ft deep. The overall size of the Oso Landslide was approximately 270 million cubic feet. Two years after the mudslide, about 11,000 tons of wreckage had been removed from the slide area.
Stories of family and survivors
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KIRO Radio and MYNorthwestwest.com teamed up to help spread the word about the project.
Stories of responders and volunteers