PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Red Cross volunteers from Oregon and southwest Washington are on their way to help the residents of Oso deal with the disaster following a massive mudslide that left at least 14 dead and more than 100 people unaccounted.
The volunteers will set up shelters and lend a shoulder to anyone who needs it.
im Quiring of Goldendale is one of nine Red Cross volunteers from this region who is headed to Oso. She said she doesn’t know what to expect when she gets there, but was told to bring a sleeping bag. She’s unsure if she has a place to stay or if she will be at a shelter.
“Getting ready is a little bit of a stress, but then when we get there I don’t think about myself,” she said. “I think about how I can help other people.”
Some volunteers are trained to provide mental health services, helping families to cope with everything that’s going around them.
The volunteers may be in the area for several weeks.
Free disaster preparedness classes are held the last Tuesday of every month from 6-7 p.m. at the Oregon Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross, 3131 N. Vancouver Avenue Road in Portland.
(AP) – Dangerous conditions are making search efforts difficult amid concerns there may be more mudslides to come in the area, using canoes and hovercraft to navigate mud 40-feet deep in some places.
Officials said they do not have an accurate list of missing people yet, but 14 people are confirmed dead as rescuers work from a list of 176 reports that could include duplicates.
“They are not individuals that are deceased, they are not individuals that are injured, they are not individuals that are missing. They are 176 reports,” said Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management spokesperson John Pennington.
“Until the point we feel we need to just stop, we’re going to keep going.”
Monday, one crew on the Western edge of the slide area had to retreat for fear of more mudslides. Authorities say heavy rainfall made the ground unstable and more rain this week may hinder further rescue efforts.
Meanwhile, residents are doing their best to carry on in the search.
“They’re grandparents, great grandparents, the whole family so you do have a certain amount of attachment,” said resident Randy Rankin.
President Barrack Obama issued his official condolences from the G8 Summit in the Netherlands, and has ordered federal aid to help the town recover.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.