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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)



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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.



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2-year-old girl airlifted to Harborview after rollover crash on SR 530

Updated: March 15, 9:50 pm PST

(Arlington, WA)  A 2 year-old girl was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center after a single vehicle, rollover crash on SR 530 late this morning.

Trooper Mark Francis of the Washington State Patrol says the child’s injuries are not life threatening.

The Herald (Everett) reports that a 27 year-old Marysville man was driving the Honda Civic, and that he was treated for injuries at Cascade Valley Hospital, then released.

Trooper Francis also tweeted, “Alcohol/drugs not a factor.”

The highway was temporarily closed around noon when the Airlift helicopter landed to receive the patient.

The crash happened near milepost 43 and Swede Heaven Rd, an area on the outskirts of Arlington.

The location is about six miles west of Darrington.

Jaimie Mason lives on Swede Heaven Road and provided the photos that appear in this story.





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Rollover crash on SR 204 / SR 2 interchange sends one to hospital, snarls traffic

(Lake Stevens, WA) Firefighters worked to extricate a person from a black, Volkswagen Beetle  following a single vehicle rollover crash on State Route 204 in Lake Stevens on Sunday afternoon.

The crash unfolded immediately on the north side of the interchange with SR 2.

Rescue crews first received a report of the crash at 3:37pm.

The southbound lane on SR 204 to eastbound SR 2 was closed while crews worked the crash scene.

No official word yet on what caused the crash or any specifics about the person taken to the hospital.

*note:  Using my iPhone, I streamed live video from the scene minutes after the crash (video available below).

Shortly prior the end of the live stream, I was allowed much closer access to the scene.  The new, closer angle revealed what looked like tire tracks coming off of the road above; suggesting the possibility that the VW may rolled down that embankment (photo #12 was taken just prior to my departure from the scene).

Earlier in the live stream, you’ll see that I focused on tire tracks in the mud just off the road of southbound SR 204.  It’s possible that those tracks are irrelevant.

Again, official information is yet to come from law enforcement.

Lastly, special thanks to Daron Johnson (@SnoCo_Scanner on Twitter) for his tweets and additional information regarding this story.

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