Bravo Jerry Cornfield! Although I seldom agree with his views, on Saturday I couldn’t agree more. (Column “Second-guessing, criticism puts grieving families last.”) I cannot understand the fools sitting back in their leather recliners second-guessing how the operations in Oso should have been handled. From the time the mud stopped sliding, people were wading in to help salvage what lives they could. Mr. Pennington from emergency services kept us all informed of this horrific tragedy. He seemed very well informed and shared the information to the best of his ability.
Chief Hots was still standing on day six — still reporting on where his men were and how they were faring. An environmental tragedy the size of this one could not be planned for. But every man, woman and child who could do something, did it to the best of their ability and as quickly as was safe to do. Of course certain pieces of the rescue operation could not be there immediately. We do not have the resources to keep 24-hour “maybe we’ll need them” troops on standby.
I am in awe of the work that has been accomplished. I have never been a news junkie before, but I am now and to read a few people saying it could have been done better, brings out the worst in me. It was done amazingly well, and we do not need to play the blame game, especially if we were not there in the dirt and muck and broken houses trying to find one more survivor. Thank you to all the responders — from the reporters who kept the news flowing to Mr. Pennington and Chief Hots who coordinated the relief workers in the field, to the kids gathering food donations, the stores and the communities of Arlington, Darrington and Oso, and our Tribal members, who without a pause jumped in to help. Don’t critique our team unless you were out there doing the work. Snohomish County got the job done and have saved everyone they could and will not give up on the ones still missing. This is a rescue mission still. Thank you for your amazing efforts. Prayers to those who are lost, missing, or recovering.
Coral Y. Christenson