Oso Strong | Council Corner

By Randy Lord, Mukilteo City Council President | Apr 02, 2014

Like many of you, I was shocked at the devastation of the landslide near the little town of Oso, Wash. on SR-530, just inside our Snohomish County border.

The initial reports didn't seem to make a big impact on me, since our area is constantly impacted by small landslides, with the occasional disruption of Sounder rail service.

Though it didn't take long before the words "disaster" and "major event" started weaving themselves into the reporting. I became captured as the story unfolded, trying to wrap my mind around the severity and extent of devastation.

Later, as I saw the passion and dedication of the many people who showed up to do whatever they could, I became amazed and overwhelmed; wondering what I could do.

Then, I saw the landslide grow to become the headline story on the national news, and then escalate to became a world-wide event; but once again, this time it was different. This time, the disaster is in our backyard.

Normally, I see the interviews of the dedicated first responders and the disaster recovery teams, but never before have I recognized the faces of our friends and associates on the screen.

Their dedication and dogged determination showed through their obvious exhaustion; and for that, I thank them for their service.

Then I saw the phenomenal outpouring of support from every walk of life, from all corners of the Puget Sound, doing whatever they could; all to take care of our family members up north.

And it made me proud; and it made me want to talk to you about it.

When I saw the incredible response from first responders and locals, then from the churches, schools, volunteer groups and tribes, then from everyday concerned citizens, I was overwhelmed at the level of generosity and caring by our neighbors here in the Puget Sound.

There is no worry of looting here; on the contrary, in this case, supplies of every imaginable item are arriving by the truck load.

If any of the volunteers are lacking of anything, they put the word out to social media, TV and radio; and within minutes, resources are mobilized and supplies arrive.

I am very proud to be a part of this community!

One of our duties as public servants is to "Plan for the worst, and hope for the best.”

Our police and fire, in fact, all of our city staff, coordinate their plans with other jurisdictions in the county, state and, eventually, the federal level, so in case a major disaster occurs, we will be prepared to mobilize resources to address the needs.

In this case, I am honored that these plans are working, that Mukilteo was able to provide support for our neighbors up north. My gratitude goes to our personnel for their efforts.

But what gave me great confidence and pride wasn't the formal responses; it was the grassroots army that came in to augment these plans!

It was the thousands of everyday moms, dads, brothers and sisters, grandfathers and grandmothers, and sons and daughters, who saw a need, then took care of it.

I feel a great relief to know that so many people care so much. If it ever becomes a time where we will be needing any help, I know they will be there to cover our backs.

This is a time for us to continue to work together and support their efforts. If you are unsure of what you can do, contact the Red Cross, or refer to the local radio and TV affiliates.

Thank you, again, for showing that this is one of the best places in the country to live. We will get through this.

We can be comfortable knowing that, even though we don't live in Oso, we can all be "Oso Strong.”

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