Tag Archives: volunteers

#Highway530: In Memoriam

A TRIBUTE TO THOSE WE LOST AND THE FOUR LESSONS THEY LEFT BEHIND:
March 22, 2014 10:37 A.M.
aDarkTime

Oso_landslide_(WSP)

Sorrow seemed to swallow us whole.
light in darkness

We came together–to search for an elusive miracle. We found that miracle in each other, and in the children who shouldered a burden that no child should ever have to lift. They came–from the young Cub Scouts who raised money to the children who helped serve food to the workers to the teenagers who stocked shelves.

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In a community grieving, we found the first hint that
light

We came to accept that
NoMatterHowLong

Eventually, we realized

thoseWhoSeemGone

Four lessons grew from the soil of that tragedy:

footsteps

beauty

savor

Though life holds disappointments, broken dreams,and sorrow
butterfly

This blog post is dedicated to the 43 people that were lost when the Highway 530 Mudslide took out the small community of Steel Head Drive and the surrounding area once known as Hazel, Washington.

Many of these image quotes can be found in Biker Granny’s Motorcycle Philosophy
http://www.amazon.com/Biker-Grannys-Motorcycle-Aya-Walksfar-ebook/dp/B019APE7W2

For photos taken during the search and rescue efforts after the slide:
http://www.seattletimes.com/news/highway-530-mudslide-east-of-arlington/

FROM THE FULL ARCHIVE OF THE EVERETT HERALD’S COVERAGE OF HIGHWAY 530 MUDSLIDE: CURRENT ISSUES FOR SURVIVORS AND VICTIMS OF SLIDE:
http://www.heraldnet.com/section/osomudslide
FEB. 26, 2016
Now, there will be no mudslide trial before mid-to-late September.King County Superior Court Judge Roger Rogoff changed the schedule in a Feb. 18 ruling that came after lawyers for Snohomish County, the state of Washington, and a timber company all said more time is necessary.The delay was opposed by lawyers representing the families of the 43 people who were killed and dozens of others who were injured in March 2014 when a wall of mud and trees raced across the Stillaguamish River valley.“It cannot be underscored more deeply at this stage that Plaintiffs deserve their day in court,” the lawyers wrote. “The trauma of survivors and surviving family members endures while this case is prolonged and remains unresolved.”

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WHAT WERE THE CHILDREN DOING?

WHAT WERE THE CHILDREN DOING?

During most disasters children are secluded from the harsh realities as well as possible.

On March 22, 2014, 10:47 a.m., the Highway 530 Mudslide swallowed the tiny community of Hazel.

Shortly after the slide hit, those people living EAST of the slide responded.

During the grueling day as hope flared then dwindled, the people from the small town of Darrington and the surrounding area east of the mudslide, labored to rescue those trapped.

What were the children doing?

Whatever was needed! Our young people immediately responded to the disaster.

Some joined the adults on the debris field, rescuing survivors.

Some worked at the Community Center preparing a hot meal for those slogging through the mud slurry and for the stunned and devastated city of Darrington and the surrounding area.

The next day and for many days thereafter, our youth continued their heroic efforts:

They packed lunches, sometimes hundreds of lunches

Helped prepare meals and then helped to serve them

Wrapped utensils to be used during meals

Worked on the debris field

Did welfare checks on older citizens

Cleaned houses for volunteers and displaced families to stay in

Unloaded trucks of donations

Shelved those donations

Delivered food and other necessities to families

Swept floors

Helped affected families move into temporary homes

Raised money and donated it to the victims

Washed fire trucks

Helped with animal care and animal food distribution

Wrote and performed a song of hope and strength for the people of Darrington

Drummed and “laid a blanket” ( a Native American ceremony performed by the Sauk-Suiattle People) for donations for the affected families

Did whatever was asked of them without complaint

How do I know this? I was the Darrington Volunteer Registrar during the disaster. Some of our youth worked as many as 15 hours a day, day-after-day. In the end, our young people donated over 3,000 hours of effort. And these are only the youth I know about! Many others worked but never registered with me.

Are we proud of our youth?

You betcha!

Our young people, ranging in age from Cub Scouts to seniors in high school, ARE the

DARRINGTON DO-ERS!

Thanks to all of them the recovery efforts were supported. Tired and disheartened and grief-stricken people received food, shelter, and other types of assistance as well as a renewal of hope.

These young people rock!

Do you have a story of young people who rock? Would love to hear it! Leave a comment!

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BOOMER, NEW INFORMATION

Several hours after learning about Boomer, it is now understood that Boomer DID NOT survive the landslide, but rather walked two to three miles from his current home to the devastated area. Why?  Why would a dog walk that far to some awful place? Boomer’s former owner lived, and died, at that site. Boomer’s former owner, the brother of Boomer’s current owner, lived in a home wiped out by the mudslide. So, last night Boomer returned to the area where he had once been loved; an area that claimed the life of his first human.

No, the miracle we thought had happened, didn’t happen. A different miracle, a different testament of love happened. A dog crossed over two miles of extremely rough, dangerous terrain to the area where he once lived.

Dogs don’t forget; dogs grieve, and like the rest of us here in Darrington, maybe Boomer simply felt called to pay his respects to his former owner; felt called to “do something” in the face of such tragedy.

 

Last night, stumbling through the alien landscape of the #Oso mudslide devastation a horribly dehydrated and seriously injured dog was found. The dog who is slightly larger and a bit heavier-bodied than a German Shepherd was named Lucky because the animal rescue workers believed he had survived the worse disaster in Washington State history–a #disaster rivaling the explosion of Mount Saint Helens.  He was transported to the Darrington Rodeo/Bluegrass Grounds to our Animal Rescue Site to rest and be assessed overnight.

0403boomer-dog

This morning, two Darrington Volunteers, Hiliary Schultz and Carolyn Yost transported Lucky to the Arlington Animal Clinic after pain killers had been administered to make the rough trip bearable for the seriously injured dog. The temporary, disaster route is a potholed, rough graveled, one-lane roadway. It bounced their vehicle as the tires crunched the gravel up and down the mountainside behind and adjacent to the swamps and mud of the devastated area where excavators diligently dug and crews watched for the uncovering of human remains. They delivered Boomer to Arlington Animal Clinic.

For a few hours, we believed Boomer had survived a disaster that had claimed the lives of our friends, family and neighbors. For a few hours we rejoiced. A cheer rang through the firehouse as we crowded around the brand new laptop that had just been donated to our disaster relief efforts yesterday by Microsoft. As the story about Boomer came on screen, a cheer rang off the walls of that cavernous building. Volunteers and fire department personnel threw arms around each other laughing and cheering.

When Trudy LaDouceur, District Secretary of Darrington Fire District #24 said, “This is so great. I am so sick of death,” she spoke for all of us.

Amidst sorrow and loss; pain and grief, for a few hours we believed that a miracle occurred last night: Boomer walked out of the deadly Oso Mudslide, and brought hope and healing to the hearts of Darrington’s people.

Tonight, we know that didn’t happen. A little bit of our hope slid away, a slippery dark eel sliding into the muddy swamps of that alien landscape that swallowed the lives of those we loved.

http://www.king5.com/community/blogs/the-pet-dish/Boomer-the-dog-found-Oso-slide-253832561.html

Here is the updated report on Boomer, the dog who “felt called” to traverse the deadly landscape where once a person he loved had lived. We here in Darrington understand that feeling; it is the “call” that takes our volunteers to that debris field, day after day.

http://www.king5.com/community/blogs/the-pet-dish/Boomer-the-dog-found-Oso-slide-253832561.html

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