oso landslide

Settlements Reached For Oso Landslide Victims

Oct 10, 2016
Associated Press / AP Images

Two years ago, the Oso landslide in Washington state killed 43 people and wiped out a rural neighborhood north of Seattle. Now a series of settlements have been reached for those affected by the landslide and the state has been order to pay an additional penalty. 

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he takes responsibility for his office’s failure to preserve emails related to the deadly 2014 Oso landslide. The Democrat issued a statement Tuesday after a judge vowed to impose a “significant monetary sanction” over the deleted emails.

Lawyers for victims of the deadly 2014 Oso landslide say the state of Washington has engaged in a “shocking” cover-up to hide evidence. The allegation, first reported by The Seattle Times, comes just five weeks before the state goes on trial.

Ted S. Warren, / Associated Press

The Washington Forestry Practices Board agreed Tuesday on an update to its manual for how the state makes decisions on proposed logging activity.

The update was prompted by the Oso Landslide, which killed 43 people last year.

Lawsuits against the Washington Department of Natural of Resources and Snohomish County over the deadly Oso landslide can go forward.

brewbooks / Flickr

Shortly after this year's deadly Oso landslide, investigative reporters revealed that loggers had clear-cut in a no-logging zone directly above the hillside that collapsed.

That logging, back in 2004, removed trees in an area scientists had said could worsen the risk of landslides.

A report out Tuesday from the Department of Natural Resources leaves unanswered the question of why logging took place on what should have been forbidden ground.

brewbooks / Flickr

Washington state essentially prohibits logging on unstable slopes - since removing trees can worsen erosion and landslides. But it's not always obvious which slopes are unstable.

State officials Wednesday adopted a more cautious approach around slopes like the one that collapsed onto the town of Oso in March. That deep-seated landslide killed 43 people.

Snohomish County / Flickr

How to prevent unsafe logging on steep slopes that could cause future landslides will be at the center of discussions tomorrow in Olympia.

In the wake of the Oso tragedy, the state’s Forest Practices Board is in the process of updating permitting guidelines. The board is rewriting the section of its manual that deals with unstable slopes, based on the latest and best advice from a panel of geologists. State Forester Aaron Everett says while the guidelines are not binding, they should make it harder for companies seeking to log in unsafe areas.


The Oso landslide devastated one stretch of one valley in Snohomish County. But Washington state is dotted with landslide-prone slopes. An investigation by KUOW and EarthFix has found that many local governments do much less than Snohomish County to keep people from building on dangerous ground. 

We're Staying In Oso, But Every Day We Say Goodbye

Sep 26, 2014
Aileen Imperial / KCTS

Ron Thompson was known as the mayor of Steelhead Drive. He and his wife Gail Thompson lost their home and many neighbors in the Oso landslide. But they’ve decided to stay in Oso, and start over in a new home just four miles from the old one. They find hope in rebuilding their community while striving to find meaning in the disaster.

Read the Thompsons' story on Medium. 

KCTS Photo / Aileen Imperial

KUOW's Patricia Murphy brings us the story of Oso Chapel Pastor Gary Ray.

Pastor Ray helped provide spiritual and emotional support for a community that prided itself on its strong sense of independence.

Copyright 2014 KUOW

Stacey Jenkins / KCTS

Reporter Phyllis Fletcher brings us the story of Bob and Julie DeYoung. Bob helped recover bodies of friends and neighbors killed in the landslide. His wife Julie took care of people who survived. Today they're figuring out how to take care of their own needs. This is their story, in their own words.

In Oso, Being Mayor Is Now A Full-Time Job

Sep 23, 2014
Aileen Imperial / KCTS

Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin grew up in this small town, like his father and his father before him. Though he moved away when he was younger, Rankin felt he had to move back. The town, he says, is something you can't get out of your soul.

KUOW and KCTS 9 collaborated to produce this series.

Snohomish County / Flickr

43 people lost their lives in the Oso landslide in March. The six-month anniversary is Monday, September 22nd. So far, nearly 60 legal claims have been filed against the state of Washington stemming from the slide.

After Oso, Reborn From Water And Mud

Sep 22, 2014
Stacey Jenkins / KCTS

Robin Youngblood cherished the nature around her home in Oso’s Steelhead Haven. When the landslide struck, she and a visiting friend were talking about a deer they had just seen. After the disaster, she left the Oso area. But something called her back. Now she lives a stone’s throw from state Route 530, a few miles east of the slide. You can hear that story below.

Washington National Guard / Flickr

As the town of Darrington, Washington nears a six-month anniversary of the tragic and deadly Oso landslide, a sign of economic hope is also near.

Washington Oso Commission Visits Slide Area

Aug 22, 2014
U.S. Geological Survey / Flickr

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's landslide commission began its work Friday with a visit to the site of the deadly Oso landslide.

Scientists Say Earlier Slide Set Up Oso Disaster

Jul 22, 2014
Dave Norman / Washington DNR

A small landslide in 2006 set the stage for the catastrophe that claimed 43 lives in Oso, Wash. this past March. A panel of scientists says that first slide left a loosely packed mass of debris suspended above the Steelhead Haven development and its neighbors.

Anna King

In the Darrington, the Timberbowl Rodeo saw some of its largest crowds ever this past weekend. Neighbors gathered at the event to hug, shake hands and heal up from this year's nearby terrible Oso landslide. One rodeo cowgirl, Alexis Blakey, knows nearly everyone here. She’s 20, and today is her hometown rodeo. She’s working on achieving her pro-rodeo status for barrel racing. And Alexis wants this win.

Announcer: “Ok, we’re ready to go with our first barrel racer … Alexis Blakey!”

Ashley Ahearn / EarthFix

There are landslide-prone areas across the mountainous Northwest. And many people choose to live in these risky, beautiful places. The question is: How can government strike a balance between people’s property rights, and safety?

No Logging Moratorium In Wake Of Oso Landslide

May 13, 2014
Snohomish County / Flickr

In the wake of the deadly landslide near Oso, Wash., there will be no immediate moratorium on logging around unstable slopes. Some conservationists and regulators wanted to push for that. Environmental lawyer and activist Peter Goldman of Seattle was one of them. But Goldman says the state Forest Practices Board learned Tuesday it doesn't have the authority to impose a logging moratorium.

King County To Map Slide Risks

May 6, 2014

Snohomish county considered a moratorium on development, but it backed away from that proposal Monday morning. Now, King County is beginning its own response to the Oso disaster.

Austin Jenkins

President Obama says the “whole country” is thinking about the victims of the Oso landslide in Snohomish County. The president visited the slide zone Tuesday to mark the one month anniversary of the tragedy. The death toll currently stands at 41 with two people still missing.

John Ryan

Fundraising for this November's elections is kicking into high gear. That means candidates are cozying up to people with money. Sometimes, elected officials even get friendly with the companies they regulate.

Washington State Dept of Transportation/Flickr

It’s been three weeks now since the landslide hit the tiny community of Oso. Those residents and people from the nearby towns of Darrington and Arlington are still grieving and still trying to pick up the pieces. And one huge impediment is highway 530: parts of it are still closed.

Twenty-five-year-old Amanda Skorjanc survived the Oso landslide.

Today she gave an emotional description of the slide from her room at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

She says her partner Ty had just given her and her five-month-old son Duke a big family hug.  Then he left for the hardware store.

She says she heard an incredibly loud sound. Then, the house began shaking.

She thought perhaps it was an earthquake but didn’t see anything out her side door. Then, she looked out the front door.

The Oso mudslide death toll in Snohomish County is now at 35 and 11 people are still missing. President Obama has declared a major disaster area which opens the door to federal housing assistance and low-interest loans. But homeowners in the path of the slide aren’t likely to see an insurance payout. That's because standard homeowner's insurance doesn't cover this type of disaster. Mudslide coverage is not only expensive, it's difficult to purchase.

The Oso landslide in Washington state has taken the lives of 29 people. More than a dozen are still missing and the gruesome search to find victims goes on.

For the second day in a row, Washington Governor Jay Inslee has asked the federal government to boost its disaster assistance to victims of the Oso landslide.

The grim accounting continues in Oso as search crews recover more remains from the deadly mudslide there. As searchers painstakingly comb through mud and debris, the number in the missing column is ticking downward, and the list of those confirmed dead is growing. Crews have recovered remains from 28 people, though more have been found than the official tally reflects. Twenty people are listed as missing.