Obama meets survivors, responders in mudslide town

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Oso, WA, United States (4E) – President Barack Obama met with families of mudslide victims in Oso, WA Tuesday and later thanked responders at a town fire station for their continuing efforts to recover bodies from last month’s disaster.

For about an hour and behind closed door, Obama talked with the families of the missing and dead from the mudslide that buried the Steelhead Haven community east of Oso town on March 22. Obama then met the responders at a firehouse and praised the coordination between government and relief workers and local volunteers in searching for the missing after the mudslide.

A total 41 people were killed in the disaster and recovery operation is ongoing for two missing residents.

Obama arrived at the fire station around 4 p.m. after touring the mudslide site along state Highway 530 between Arlington and Darrington on presidential helicopter Marine One. Aboard the aircraft with him were Gov. Jay Inslee, Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell,and Rep. Suzan DelBene. They saw a one-mile section of a state highway still covered with mud and debris.

The helicopter touched down on a landing zone around 1:31 p.m. and Obama and his entourage drove to the fire station.

The president took the helicopter from the Paine Field or Snohomish County Airport in Everett.

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