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Voluntary Evacuation and Temporary Road Closure in Oso Area 


CONTACT: Shari Ireton, Director of Communications, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, 425-388-3377, Media line:  425-249-6263
OSO, WASH. – Homes in the Oso area have been asked to voluntary evacuate and SR530 will be closed tonight as a precaution due to an unstable hillside above the highway.  The movement of the hillside is very slow and there has been no reported injuries or any damage to property.  Actions this evening by first responders are a precautionary measure only. Geologist are calling this a “reactivation of small portion of a previous landslide.”

Specifically, 10 homes along Whitman Road and one house to the south of SR530 have been asked to evacuate.  Other area residents are being kept notified of developments through the night.

Citizens reported seeing cracks along a private road that runs up the hillside south of SR530.  A geologist from the Department of Natural Resources examined the hillside and roadway today. He discovered several sites where significant cracks in the slope indicated that the slope is moving and shared that information with county and state agencies.  

Unified Command was established between the Oso Fire Department and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the DNR, Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington State Patrol, and the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management. 

Tonight, Unified Command will work with area residents to ensure their safety and inspect the hillside in the morning with DNR scientists.