ARLINGTON — Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee took another tour of the site of the massive Oso landslide by helicopter Sunday, saying the scene is considerably different than last week.
Inslee said during a news conference at the airport here that the operation at the debris site is “very, very extensive,” noting front-end loaders and other heavy equipment as well as hundreds of workers searching and building a corridor to link both sides. He said it appears to be a well-organized effort.
He also said planning is just beginning for long-term housing needs for those affected by the March 22 slide and for re-establishing Highway 530 in the area between Darrington and Oso. Inslee said no specific plans exist yet, but that they will include extensive public comment, especially regarding the 530 corridor, adding that it will be done in a way that is sensitive to families who have lost loved ones in the slide.
“We will be sensitive to their needs,” he said.
Major General Bret Daugherty, commander of the Washington National Guard, said the search continues with new dog teams coming to the site as well as an additional body recovery team from Colorado, which will help with the processing of remains.
“We’re doing all we can,” Daugherty said. “It’s absolutely difficult work. This will give some of our guys a breather.”
Inslee said rescue and recovery efforts will continue as people want to “find that miracle,” and if not a miracle, simply any information related to the whereabouts of loved ones.
“I talked to family members today,” he said. “They are eager for knowledge and we have a whole army trying to give it to them.”