News Washington

Bulletin: Shell gas cards needed


by Mark Horner

Mudslide near Oso, WA. Photo taken Saturday, March 22, 2014.

Beyond90Seconds has learned that many local residents assisting with the recovery and clean-up effort at the Oso mudslide are spending a lot of money out of pocket  to fuel their heavy machinery.

This information came-up as an aside late in a text conversation with a local resident this morning.

“I’m trying to get some gas cards together (Shell only) for the local guys who are out there running their machines 11 hours a day on their own dime, and they won’t be reimbursed,” the resident wrote.  “If you know of anyone who can help, please let me know and spread the word!  It seems like they’ve been forgotten in this.”

When asked what type of machinery, the resident wrote:

“Excavators, log loaders, log shove, d8’s, Hd21’s. Pretty much everything you can think of. The boys said they would be grateful.  No one is going to remember them in three weeks, that’s why I want to do this so bad.”

I’ve decided to move on this now and, hopefully, help ease that financial burden related to fuel costs.


Anyone wishing to donate SHELL GAS CARDS can bring them to me today. NO OTHER ITEMS OR CASH WILL BE ACCEPTED.  SHELL GAS CARDS ONLY.

I will be parked at the Haggen Food and Pharmacy in Arlington from 11:30am to 3pm.

At 11:15 this morning, I will tweet a photo showing where I am parked at Haggen’s.  On Twitter, I’m @beyond90seconds  (I will also attempt to add that photo to this blog post).

I will personally deliver all of the donated SHELL GAS CARDS to my contact in the Oso area by no later than tonight.

This morning, I called a Shell gas station in Everett and asked if Shell gas gift cards are available for purchase.  I was told, “Yes,” and that the cards can be purchased with cash or debit cards (no credit cards).


Haggen Food & Pharmacy parking lot area
20115 74th Ave NE
Arlington, WA 98223

11:30am-3pm today

I will follow-up this story with a report specifying how much was donated. That story will also mention who received the donations directly from me.  That person will act as the point-person for distributing the donated SHELL GAS CARDS.

The follow-up story will be published on no later than noon tomorrow.

Thank you for considering this opportunity to help.





News video Washington

VIDEO: Interview with WSP Chief John Batiste


(Oso, WA)  This is unedited video of Washington State Police Chief John Batiste speaking with media members regarding the Oso mudslide.

The interview was recorded on March 26.

The location is the roadblock at SR 530 and Oso Loop Road.

Here are some time codes for topics that are addressed:

2:03  Trooper Oliphant (one of the first responders), helped rescue young child

3:59 Batiste’s initial reaction to the mudslide.  His flight with Governor over mudslide

4:36 Reminds Batiste of Mount St. Helens (which he responded to as a young Trooper)

5:12 Discussing this mudslide with spouse

6:02 First responders are working hard, taking risks, still hoping to make rescues.

6:37  Batiste is asked about clearing the road.  Debris field.

7:00  Says Department of Transportation is making plans for relocating debris

7:25  What’s next regarding the highway?  Alternative route(s)?

7:50 “A huge undertaking” (regarding removing debris)



News video Washington

Woman learns her friends are alive


(Oso, WA)  Teresa Smith could never have imagined the most welcome surprise she’d encounter while walking her dog along SR 528 in Oso early this afternoon.

It started when a honk came from an approaching Chevrolet Silverado.

The driver paused on the road.

Smith–grieving the loss of so many lives here, including two close friends–was in for quite a shock.

Turns out those two close friends were in that Chevy.

Smith had thought the Ron and Gail Thompson were killed in Saturday’s  mudslide.

The Thompson’s home, like so many others, had been obliterated in the catastrophe.

But the Thompsons had actually left their house only minutes prior to the slide.

“Seeing them today was like a precious gift from God,” Smith said.

The moment Teresa Smith learns that her friends Ron and Gail Thompson are still alive. Ron Thompson pictured in vehicle.
The moment Teresa Smith learns that her friends Ron and Gail Thompson are still alive. Ron Thompson pictured in vehicle.

Please note:  I was taking photos of the Oso fire station  from across the street when I heard the Chevy honk its horn. Hearing the excitement and seeing the embracing that followed, I photographed that moment thinking it might be a story.  The Chevy was driving off as I made my way toward the scene.  Ms. Smith kindly agreed to an on-camera interview. -Mark Horner


News video Washington

One on one with the Governor


Photos and Videos 

Update:  About 7 hours after this post was published, the Associated Press published an insightful story online regarding the dramatic changes in the numbers of people reported missing in the mudslide near Oso. A link to that story is provided here for additional reading: 18, 108, 176? How many missing from landslide? / Associated Press, March 25, 11am PST

(Oso, WA) Up to 176 people reported missing.

A Federal Emergency Declaration signed by President Barack Obama.

Yes, the unimaginable scope of the mudslide near Oso continued to sink-in on Monday.

And as it did so, Washington Governor Jay Inslee returned to survey the area and meet with locals.

Shortly after 4:30pm, Inslee arrived at the SR 530 roadblock located about three miles west of the mudslide.

Inslee walked directly towards Washington State Patrol Troopers positioned at the roadblock, then shook their hands.

He gestured a “thumbs up.”

And he paused to place a pin on one young Trooper’s uniform. approached the governor and asked if  he would answer a quick question.

He obliged (then answered more than one).

The governor was first asked for his impressions on what he was seeing on Monday.

“Well, we’ve got a full-blown search and rescue effort that’s ongoing right now,” Inslee began.  “We’re getting some additional federal assets in, an incident management team. A National Guard search and extraction team will be coming in. So, we’re bringing in some additional troops to replace some of the exhausted people here. And it’s a full-blown rescue effort.  The families of Washington deserve that. Our hearts are with them. We want to get all the resources we can.  And we are.”

Monday had begun with news that the official number of missing people had climbed from 18 to 108 (later that evening, the number of people reported missing increased to 176).

Monday afternoon, asked Inslee, “Why the delay? How do we go from 18 to 108?”

“People in the search and rescue effort really need to answer those questions.  I think that they wanted to be conservative to try to match all of the information coming in from so many ways, but we really want to focus on the rescue right now,” Inslee said.

The interview with the governor was streamed live using an iPhone. The video appears below (please see video Live Stream #10: Oso mudslide. The interview begins at 1:54. Also, the moment Inslee placed a pin on the Trooper can be viewed at 1:38). 

In the final live report (please see Live Stream #11: Oso mudslide), reported that cadaver dogs are being utilized at the mudslide. That information did not come from official channels.

At a news conference early Monday evening in Arlington, asked for confirmation that cadaver dogs were at the mudslide.

Fire Chief Travis Hots (Snohomish County Districts 21 & 22) replied that “search dogs” are at the scene.

Monday’s live reports from the roadblock also addressed the increasing media presence (to include mentions of international coverage), activities observed in that area, and the weather.

The pictures in this story include images of KING-TV’s (NBC) weatherman Jeff Renner standing-by moments before his live report regarding a forecast for significant rainfall in the days ahead.

The photos of the helicopters passing overhead were taken at the roadblock.

And the images of the outdoor news conference were taken early Monday evening in Arlington.



News Washington

108 people missing after Oso mudslide


Darrington, WA at sunset on Saturday, March 23rd.
Darrington, WA at sunset on Saturday, March 23rd.

While this morning’s announcement that 108 people are missing after the Oso mudslide will surprise many people, that’s likely not the case for some locals who live in that area.

From what I’ve been told, many have known the numbers are higher.

In my visit to Darrington Sunday evening, a local told me that there was some mounting frustration in town regarding the official numbers of missing and deceased that were being reported in the news.

There are stories going around (which I’ve not confirmed) that some neighbors who live here have even helped locate bodies in the mud (see 2:44 in video Live Stream #8, below).

The purpose of this post is simply aimed at providing additional insight, understanding and context. You can decide whether it does any of that.

This commentary is absolutely not meant to instigate any finger pointing.

During my 20 years spent covering stories as a television news reporter, I came to understand that it’s quite common for people directly impacted by a tragedy to become frustrated as they are so often wanting much more information related to the event.

We now live in an ever-evolving time, though, related to the technology and social media at our fingertips, and they’re impacts on major news events.

Increasingly, every day folks on the front lines are positioned with firm, current, relevant information.  And sharing that information with the world only takes a click or two.

That’s the reality that presses-up against still oft-used traditional methods exercised by governments and mainstream media for gathering and disseminating information.

I’ve no doubt everyone’s goal is to provide the most solid, responsible information.

The inherent challenges of doing so with a major catastrophe—surrounded by the prevalence of smartphones and social media—would seem to make that goal challenging in ways that we’ve yet come to fully understand.


News Washington

Texas woman’s parents, daughter, future son-in-law all missing in WA mudslide


[hmp_player playlist=’Oso_Mudslide’]

nichole-rivera-1Nichole Rivera of Houston, Texas has many fond memories of growing-up in the high-country of Washington state’s northern Snohomish County.

Tonight she plans on boarding a plane to Seattle, fearing the worst has happened to her parents, daughter and her daughter’s fiancé.

Rivera spoke with this morning in a phone interview.  That interview appears here and is largely unedited.

Rivera said that her parents home was located at 31104 Steelhead Drive.

Her parents are Thom and Marlese Satterlee.

Rivera’s daughter is Delaney Webb.  She shared that Webb is engaged to Alan Bejvl.

“My dad was a really great man,” Rivera said.

“My mom is a really amazing artist and very funny.”

Rivera shares many more details about her missing loved ones in the audio interview appearing in this story.