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Washington Mudslide Briefing

Mar 25, 2014|

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Telling him my -- earlier. 321321. Before I introduce -- -- politics for being here. Also want to play these video calling them for their tremendous support and their Barbour -- -- This is a great example of a city and a community at its absolute -- so thank you very very much from there. And we'll that I would like to introduce to -- Hello Linux chief travel sized fire district 2122 Arlington rural and let me give you an update on. What what has occurred last night and what will be occurring throughout the day of the before idea that. On behalf of the entire team here in the incident command team in responders are on the that are on the ground -- -- this. Sympathies and condolences to the families have been affected by this. But this this disaster. Yesterday I reported. That we didn't find any signs of life. And I'm sad that tell you that that is the case again today from from the night shift. The night shift basically produce the same results. The total fatality rate remains at. Fourteen and we're expecting that number to go up. Throughout today and we'll be from will be providing some updates. As we get additional information throughout the day. We still love a total of 176. People that are unaccounted for. The operational plan for the day is going to be challenging obviously. The weather's changed and we've we've got some some rain coming in that's gonna make it even more challenging for. Our folks that are on the ground there and make it more challenging for aircraft in the area that we refuse to support this operation. The resources that we have here today we've got a 156 folks will be in the field. We've got another fifty. Person. Fifty member National Guard team that'll be arriving today to help support our operation. Along with many of the emergency responders that have been here throughout this incident. Including -- county and regional technical rescue teams. Local fire department's search and rescue volunteers. Search dogs. And we have a FEMA urban search and rescue team made about seventy people but also be here today. Helping us of this what this operation. One of the issues like challenges that we've come up that we had here recently was. People feel compelled to help the net and that's a good thing. We were -- that around town I was at the grocery story yesterday to pick up an item and I was bombarded with people know what can we do to help we wanna get up there we wanna help dig. And we have a couple lists. Then we have the people that our local people in the -- and also an area it dead are. That they know people know the lay of the land may have some specialized equipment and knowledge we've got them. Formally in our system and we're going to utilize those people. Right now we're really good shape for the number of people that we have here both with the teams that I indicated. And those people we don't need any more people coming up here. The last thing that we that we wanna have happen as. People showing up in their cars and sneaking up on the pile and they're out there working independently on their own. This this is a geological. Of -- occurred -- there and how many years example -- yesterday. We had a situation where the water in from the ground up there started to do to do some things were changing and it concerned us and we had a period chamber we had you. We had to back out there and we had to get the experts say there to make sure that all of the responders that were out there on that pile. Could continue to be there safely. And so we have citizens that are going out there on their own not within our system. They may not get that message there on in our in our accountability system are not in our information lived and have our communications equipment and so. They're putting themselves in an -- extreme danger we do we. We we need to control that we don't wanna see that happen. I'd like dead now during this overdue RDM. Director. Mr. Pennington. Good morning everyone. And thank you for being here really appreciate all of the continued support. John Pennington PE NN ING TO when director snohomish county department of emergency management. I'm getting gonna work office and my notes -- a lot of detailed information some of that kind of piggyback on what the chief -- shared but little more -- on now. First and foremost you need to know that visibility will be very high on the operations today and -- it's raining. So -- -- they're out here to go on what we need to do right now but extremely high visibility -- -- of to the search and rescue efforts. You're gonna see this up and down is still a one -- valley. And around 530 very high visible presence of what we're now doing. Very high coordinated effort. We've got some very good news on the -- and Darington some of you are reported but let me go ahead put it back out again that the town -- now has Internet phone and 911 capabilities. That goal was met last night around midnight much as frontier communications have promised they deliver on that promise. About the same time emergency operations that are not too long before that had been stood up we helped -- down in concert with the town. A Darington that's successfully running right now. And die in addition to that had their mobile communications that are out there from the federal government and I'll be telling just a second. The call center telephone number remains exactly the same hand I appreciate very much you guys pushing that out 1453885088. We're seeing a lot of calls -- achievements we have fourteen fatalities. 176. Remains that number that number will change by the end of the day as far as the individuals that the reports. And in talking you don't have to reconcile those numbers that's now starting to come together. I'll have a report I don't happen in hand but I'll have that report by this afternoon in the C news briefing for you. And I give you a little more details on it. -- the assets in detail that we now have remembering that we ought to Johnny declaration of state declaration and a federal declaration of emergency. Washington task force one which is an urban search and rescue team that is out of pierce -- primarily. Seventy responders with the dogs doctors very well rounded team they have 126 support individuals. -- incidents of fourteen bullets you're gonna hear that term -- -- that's urban search and rescue IST incidents fourteen. But it's all about 96 individuals that are here they're actually in the town of Darington. The Washington National Guard. And by the way that Washington task -- -- -- state asset. The Washington national guard's search and extraction team of approximately fifty individuals they're currently stage of the snohomish armory. They will be deployed to the west side of the slide and instead of going into divisions in various. Details -- just gonna go west of the slide he's the slider LC decider guard Darington sort of words were clear. So we have a search and extraction team at Washington National Guard assets and they arrived as they were committed and promised. We requested late yesterday and received a state -- -- assistance team. That team working in concert with the snow which county medical Examiner's office for their protocols and procedures. They are now seeing -- in we'll give you more information about them as that develops in the day but that mortuary assistance team. It's pretty common in large scale events like this there's a point at which you bring an end and that is this particular point. There's a -- night incident management assistance team you're gonna hear the term high -- that's what that stands for. Half of that I that is currently deployed to this particular post -- has deployed to the snohomish county OC. That he remains fluid and that team will move around as needed. FEMA has a mobile emergency response system communications and it's all murders again when these things you're gonna hear. The birds fans are there's a convent Italian -- right now insuring that the communications that are now -- stay out. Again high visibility especially for the town of Darington right now. She mentioned snohomish counties technical rescue teams have been on the ground here since Saturday and EMS fire is basically everywhere you've seen them. Volunteers. Have been staged on both sides the west and the east side. The key component of the volunteers at that they are locally driven volunteers and that's really I think highly appropriate in this situation. They're not only -- local volunteers that they had been registered through our system as emergency workers and integrated into that system and as a chief mention and I like to reiterate that. Deep deep gratitude for all to help the donations. The volunteers that have shown up. We are at that point where we got a perfect saturation went a perfect team and places like this process really. -- and -- here so we don't need more volunteers but again deep gratitude. So -- state and federal teams that are here you're seeing some of that around us State Department transportation US GS. Did Geological Survey permanent natural resources Washington State Patrol we just had an outstanding presence force and force the sheriff's office. Public works and all over other local agencies. Morning Steve Thompson's numbers -- public works director. Just a brief update on some stuff go on with the road system so pleased to announce another good news for Darington the Al -- loop highway. They we will punch through the snow on our roads data allowed Darington and to have a back access the secondary access in their town. Portions that are gravel. Will have that open and we're requesting that. Users of that road to be careful because it will be game on the road. And gravel served as part of it but it will be a secondary access in the town. I have I engineers deployed on the field and we can we get him in the year to continue to watch this slide. And Dave keeps rescue crews say that's one of our primary missions right now -- afford to give them information so that they continue their good work. The end we've been monitoring the river. The river is continuing to do what we expect it's getting a channel on a predictable way. Make his way up to this slide closure on the increase we do have rain for the next few days. And we expect the river to go up probably the river downstream -- slide might go off. An estimated three to -- It depends how heavy -- gets over the next three to four days. There's a big impoundment behind it this slide it might go off. I have a -- for a little us. Nothing that we'll hampering the rescue operations at this point thank you very much. Yeah you know I heard about that report from 1999 and I mean had a chance to look at it to be honestly what I and actually more focus on is what we're dealing here that the responsiveness. And the recovery aspect of it there's going to be a time to address that I wanna address that. I had one of the things that caught my attention to be candid with you was. We had just -- on a hunch in the department of racing manager we decided to kind of -- rounds of the seismic activity I wanna know why this why this like winzip. And I'm not I'm not just an emergency management recommend that my husband I -- know what how. Behind the other night we went out and you have to dig pretty deeply that we found that there was a one point one earthquake approximately 100 yards right behind the slide on March the -- right near the surface. The homeowners in this in this community this particular community and throughout snohomish county. We're very aware of the slide potential this entire year we have done nothing but -- message and you guys have helped us do it. Message after message after message. That there's a high risk of landslides and the dangers and risks are. Dan's great question it's not it's not my ability to answer that and itself and I think we should certainly got in future but right now I'm I'm not for an answer. I do what I did it my job is a big big dance warned. And advance warning in public information. If I had any idea that this was gonna break on that Saturday morning come on guys. You get messages from us all the time we're very very liberal and outspoken on the use reverse nine when winds and messaging about events that are gonna have. There's a reason that we had a very high success rate of mitigating disasters in this counting. This is just one to hit us. We've done everything we could. To protect them. We've mitigated the landslide. From 2006. There's been warnings in advance notifications. Of their high risk for landslides we've done everything we could my heart goes out all these individuals we're gonna get to the bottom of this. That's what that's just where we are and when you save focused on the recovery and response. Yeah I'll touch on that it. -- that as that we've got here is out there were. Some of the ground that we're working on has become the water over the last few days has made it a little bit easier to get in there and move around so now we have this fifth you know. Precipitation appearing. Right now as we speak and so it's it's it's going to further complicate things slow things down a little bit. But but our guys -- out they're there they're gonna be out there digging around just like they were yesterday working hard. Trying trying to find everybody that they can't worry about. -- absolutely we we are monitoring that situation and and and that is one of the key reasons that we don't want just volunteers going up there -- just slide and working. So as we continue to monitor that in in in in our number 130 here. It is. Our our our responder safety of the people that are out there looking and dig in and trying to find survivors and recovering. The fatalities that's their safeties are number one priority. And we've got to keep an eye on those things and so yes we've got Hydro experts and geologists looking at that. And come up and helicopters were monitoring the situation. And it at any time we feel that it's not safe to be down there in that area what -- He pulled people out and we've got mechanisms in place to get get our people out of there and in a hurry we're all connected. -- good question. Yeah actually that's a great question had. As it was conveyed to meet the area has been going on since -- last night guys on the technical folks would be able explain in more -- I can't. They're trying to -- for cell phones for the purposes. Essentially locating individuals in the debris. I don't fully understand that technology but I know that it has occurred and there are technologies that can further refine where that came came from. And I know that process is actually going on right now. Don't know. Don't know really. I'm sorry could you repeat the question. I think the fire was was cut is the way that I understand it. But everything's restore. We're doing both. We're doing both but I yet again. We're going to be very candid that it's it's been a number of days we request of mortuary teams to assist us in this process pretty much speaks for itself but. I said this just in their reiterated. I believe in miracles and I believe people can survive these these events they've done -- before they can do it again and again we're gonna operate that parallels. Iraq and -- the -- that you. Rescue or recovery work we're doing both it's in that's not gonna change the -- of what will love -- here whether we call it rescue or recovery. We're we're still in rescue mode in my mind in the end we are thrown everything. That we haven't just been working extremely hard. Not a solution question. Yes some of the boys that they are finding an inner and our technical rescue people in the FEMA teams. They've got a equipment that they can use small cameras listening devices. And Johnson case just hands move and stuff out of the way to get into the woods. -- those of the year is over that were there were thorough -- -- good good. I don't have I don't have the exact answer how many of those are. If any other questions. We've got we've got a process that's now being put in place with the the snohomish county medical Examiner's office is in in we're continued her -- then we're gonna have some additional information about that. Later on today one. Yes yeah. Yes. This it. That the question is it does a search take weeks this is going to be a very long term. Event does this will be. Something that goes into the weeks yes. That that is certainly a possibility but. We're gonna do everything that we can. -- our capabilities. To recover every single person. And and that's no guarantee that we're gonna get everybody put. We are going to do our very best to get everybody out there and. What about it. Yeah. Well I gave you the numbers on that on the teams of the National Guard team is actually. The S surgeon extraction team is fifty approximately forty members can support teams and so from the National Guard standpoint that's the asset right now. They are deployed to use their currently they're going to be on the west side and -- Thank you very much. Thank you.