Tuesday, April 8, 2014
EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — President Barack Obama plans to survey damage from the Washington state mudslide later this month and will meet with victims, first responders and recovery workers, the White House said Tuesday.
The White House said it plans to release further details about the president's trip to Oso, Wash., in the coming days.
Obama spoke with Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., on Tuesday about the recovery effort.
"He called to say that he's going to come out to visit the site on April 22," she said.
They discussed ongoing assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as the area copes with the slide that has killed at least 35 people, destroyed about three dozen homes, partially dammed a river and covered a state highway.
One more person was added to victims list Tuesday afternoon by the Snohomish County medical examiner's office, which is still trying to identify four of the dead.
Eleven people remain on the sheriff's list of missing from the March 22 slide that buried homes along the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, about 55 miles northeast of Seattle.
Searchers with dogs continue to probe the debris field as the Army Corps of Engineers builds a berm to reduce flooding.
Work started Monday on the Darrington or east side of the slide with about 300 feet of gravel. When it's completed next week, the 2,000-foot-long berm will act like a levee along the river, said Cameron Satterfield, a spokesman at the joint information center in Arlington. It will allow the corps to pump out a flooded area of about 34 acres so it can be searched for bodies.
Teams of rescue or cadaver dogs from all over the country have been helping search the huge pile of tumbled mud, broken trees and house debris.