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March 24, 2014 at 1:04 PM

New evacuation order for homes near Oso mudslide

OSO, Snohomish County — Doug Dix, 57, was evacuated from his home on Whitman Road following Saturday’s mudslide. He was allowed back into his house just west of the slide site on Sunday night.

On Monday morning, he was evacuated a second time.

He said troopers with the Washington State Patrol told him the slide area was too dangerous for him to remain in his house of 25 years. He lives just three homes downstream from the slide.

This morning’s evacuation was for Whitman Road only and involves only about three houses, he said.

During a news conference on Monday afternoon, Snohomish County spokeswoman Shari Ireton said officials may evacuate additional homes upstream because of the potential slide danger. Searchers have been pulled from an area directly beneath the slide because of the danger, she said.


Snohomish County spokeswoman Shari Ireton during today’s news conference. Lindsey Wasson/Seattle Times

On Saturday, the day of the slide, Dix was working in his barn when he heard what sounded like a “double-bladed Huey helicopter” crashing through the trees. He ran outside. “You could feel the pressure wave,” he recalled. “I thought maybe it was an earthquake.”The sound went on for about a minute, he said. He got into his truck and drove to a bridge over the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River and saw trees floating down the river.

“It took 10 minutes for the river to run to mud. That’s when we figured it was plugged,” Dix said

On Monday afternoon, he stood at a roadblock set up about 2 ½ miles from his home. He hopes to get back to feed his animals, which include sheep and exotic reptiles.

Neighbor Pete Carlson, who also lives Whitman Road, left this morning to go shopping in Arlington. On the way, he drove by the roadblock and asked a trooper if he would be allowed back into his neighborhood and was assured he would, he said.

However, when he came back about an hour later he was not allowed back in, he said.

Marla Skaglund pulled up to the same roadblock and was dismayed to learn that she would not be allowed to get to her house at the bottom of Skaglund Hill.

“My cats are inside,” she told a trooper. “They have no water.”

She begged him to send someone in.

For those who live there the situation has been extremely frustrating, Dix said.

“We heard one neighbor was in the hospital. And the next day we heard she was missing,” he said.

Many of the people who live in the neighborhood he doesn’t know by name, but often saw them at the Oso general store or jogging by his house. He doesn’t know if they’re OK.

Read more information about the mudslide here.

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


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