News Releases

Murray Speaks on Senate Floor on Landslide in Snohomish County

Mar 24 2014

Murray: “There isn’t a single person who hasn’t been impacted by this tragedy, but there also isn’t a single person who isn’t doing everything they can to help.”



Today, Monday, March 24th, 2014, Senator Patty Murray gave a speech on the Senate floor regarding Saturday’s landslide in Snohomish County, which has claimed 8 lives, and left as many as 108 other people missing. 

“What I saw is some of the worst devastation I’ve ever witnessed in my home state,” said Senator Murray. “But at the same time I also saw firefighters who hadn’t slept, refusing to stop searching for survivors. I saw families refusing to give up hope, and I saw communities that need our entire state and our entire country to stand with them now.”

Senator Murray’s remarks:

“Mr. President, I’m sure all of our colleague have seen the news over the past few days from my home state of Washington where we’re suffering from a devastating natural disaster.

“For those of you who haven’t seen it, on Saturday, the town of Oso, Washington, a small, tightly knit town along the Stillaguamish River, was directly hit by a massive landslide. 

“It has cut off the town of Darrington just a few miles down State Road 530 and houses over more than a square mile were simply swept away.

“Already, we know that we’ve lost eight people, and this morning, we learned there could be more than 100 others who are missing.

“So M. President, right now in Washington state, there are dozens and dozens of families who don’t know if their loved ones are still alive.

“These are moms and dads, sons and daughters, neighbors and friends, who in the blink of an eye, saw water and earth wipe away their homes and their community.  And now, many of them don’t know if their loved ones have survived.

“Yesterday, I was in Arlington, where the search and rescue operations are being coordinated, just down the road from where the slide hit.

“And I wanted to talk today for just a few minutes about this on the Senate floor.

“Oso and Darrington are very small towns like so many across the country in all of our states – the population of Oso is 180 people.

“They’re the types of places where everyone knows everyone, where everyone stops to say hello and lends a helping hand.

“And Mr. President, it’s impossible to describe the scope of the devastation there.

“There isn’t a single person who hasn’t been impacted by this tragedy…but there also isn’t a single person who isn’t doing everything they can to help.

“I saw neighbors who were there providing food, shelter, hugs and prayers.

“First responders are risking their lives every minute – braving dangerous conditions to look for survivors.

“And people from across our state are offering help and donations – anything to assist these communities who are experiencing the unthinkable.

“We have grocery stores who are offering food to families who need it.

The Red Cross is on the ground, and tribal leaders from communities nearby have come to help.

“Mr. President, I just want our colleagues to know that this weekend what I saw is some of the worst devastation I’ve ever witnessed in my home state.

“But at the same time I also saw firefighters who hadn’t slept, refusing to stop searching for survivors.

“I saw families refusing to give up hope.

“And I saw communities that need our entire state and our entire country to stand with them now.

“So Mr. President, even though Oso and Darrington are 2300 miles away from this chamber, our hearts and our prayers are with the families in those communities tonight.

“And in the coming weeks, months, and even years – if that’s what it takes – all of us will stand with the people of Oso and Darrington and provide them with federal resources they’re going to desperately need in this recovery and rebuilding operation.

“And I want them to know that they’ll have the thoughts and prayers of everyone in this country as they see this through. 

“Thank you, Mr. President, I yield the floor.”