OR mudslide victims feel for WA slide families

OR mudslide victims feel for WA slide families

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by Pat Dooris, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 27 at 7:29 AM

CLATSKANIE, Ore. -- As the Washington mudslide continues to bring pain and misery to the community of Oso there, many in Oregon feel their pain. Especially those living along Highway 30 roughly 30 miles from Astoria.

At least three major mud flows have rushed out of the steep mountains and hammered small communities near the town of Clatskanie.

The earliest hit in 1933 and killed four people.

The pounding rains of the winter of 1996 sent deep mud into many homes at the edge of Highway 30. Weeks later, volunteers using buckets were still at work getting rid of the muck.

And just 7 years ago, in 2007, another mud slide swept down out of the mountains.

“I couldn’t even hear it coming. It came so quick,” said Gloria Osterloh, who lives in a double wide mobile home in the path of the slide. Neighbors evacuated her just in time. “Of course everything was covered with mud,” she said. Logs and mud surrounded her home but it stayed safely on the foundation.

The 2007 slide pushed one home into the middle of Highway 30 and damaged others.

Clatskanie’s mayor said it stunned many who lived in its path.

“It came suddenly,” Diane Pohl said. “Even though we found out this was classified as a slide area because there was one in 1933, but you live all that time and you don’t think about it and people move in and so, it just came so suddenly,” she said.

You can’t see any debris from that mud flow when you look around the area today.

But everyone remembers the feeling. Both the mayor and Osterloh hurt for the people of Oso.

“I sure do,” said Gloria. “I feel so sorry I just want one of em to come down and stay with me. Just to have a place to stay. I feel so sorry for them because I know what it’s like,” she said.

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