Death toll in Washington mudslide rises to 37

Topics: From the Wires,

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — One more victim has been recovered from the mudslide that hit the town of Oso, raising the death toll to 37, the Snohomish County medical examiner’s office said Tuesday. The person’s name has not been released.

Seven people remain on the missing list, the sheriff’s office said.

A search for bodies continued in the debris left when the March 22 landslide raced across the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River and buried dozens of homes in the riverfront community about 55 miles northeast of Seattle.

The slide also covered about a mile of state Highway 530, cutting off the direct route between Interstate 5 and the town of Darrington, which is east of the slide and has a population of about 1,300. Reopening the highway is a priority for residents facing long detours.

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It could take one to three months to clear all the mud, trees and other debris, state Department of Transportation officials told residents at a Monday night meeting in Darrington.

In the meantime, residents may be allowed limited use of a temporary access road that has been restricted to emergency vehicles, officials said. Similar community meetings about the highway are scheduled Tuesday evening in Oso and Wednesday evening in Arlington, which is on the west side of the slide.

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