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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

March 23, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Despite mudslide and threat of flooding, some opt to stay

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Ray Tungate doesn’t plan to leave his home despite the threat of possible flooding due to the Oso mudslide. “If I make it out, I make it out.” Photo by Mike Baker/The Seattle Times

OSO, Snohomish County — Ray Tungate, 63, has no plans on leaving the home where he’s lived since 1979, even though it sits just a couple hundred feet from the riverbank downstream from Saturday’s massive mudslide.

A Vietnam veteran who is now in a wheelchair due to a logging accident, Tungate has packed some medical supplies and clothes in a vehicle in case he needs to leave. But Tungate is only getting his emergency information by word-of-mouth and is reluctant to leave, even though he acknowledges the danger.

“What’s going to happen is going to happen,” Tungate said Sunday. “If I make it out, I make it out.”

Tungate’s neighbors, Paul and Keenan Kimball, live right on the edge of the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River. As they returned Sunday to get belongings — some family photos and a blanket for their temporary residence inside a stable — they were shocked by just how low the water level had dropped.

Paul pointed out objects in the water that he thought were pieces of debris, only to realize they were rocks at the bottom of the river’s deepest point — something he’s never seen before.

“It looks a lot worse than yesterday,” Keenan said.

The couple disagreed on the likelihood that their property could be damaged, with Keenan particularly concerned that the home could be taken by the water.

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: Oso mudslide


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