Flash flood warning issued after mudslide blocks river


by KING 5 News


Posted on March 23, 2014 at 7:11 AM

Three people died Saturday after a huge mudslide came down on homes near Oso.

At least eight people, including a six-month-old baby, were taken to a local hospital.

The slide has cut off the city of Darrington and is blocking the North Fork of the Sillaguamish River at Whitman Rd.  First reports are that the slide is at least 45 yards wide and 60 yards across.  SR 530 is completely closed and the public is asked to avoid the area.

Several emergency response crews responded, including Washington State Patrol, Department of Transportation, Department of Emergency Management, US Navy, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and most all of the fire department agencies in north Snohomish County.

The National Weather Service said the river level dropped from 3.1 feet to 0.9 feet in the hour after the slide occurred, confirming the river was blocked by slide.

Snohomish County officials advised residents downstream of the slide to evacuate their homes

"We are asking residents to prepare their homes, pets, livestock, etc. for immediate evacuation if and when it becomes necessary," said Bronlea Mishler, Deputy Director of Communications.

Officials warned people to stay clear of all trestles and bridges on the north fork of the river

The landslide was first reported around 10:45 a.m. at the 29400 block of SR 530, near milepost 37.

One man told KING 5 the slide came down right in front of him and "it was like darkness" covering the road.

Another person said he could hear the screams of a baby so he and a Trooper rushed in to help.

Airlifts took the injured to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

The Red Cross has set up a shelter at post Middle School in Arlington.

Follow @snocounty and @SnoCoSheriff for the latest updates on the situation.