State County Eyes Building Ban After Deadly Mudslide: Reports
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[April 23, 2014]
SEATTLE (Reuters) — Snohomish County
was on Wednesday to consider a six-month ban on new construction in
landslide-prone areas countywide after a slide last month that killed 41
people, local media reported.
A rain-soaked hillside collapsed above the Stillaguamish River on
March 22 unleashing a torrent of mud that swallowed up a stretch of
state highway and about three dozen homes near the small community
of Oso, about 55 miles northeast of Seattle.
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office said the remains of
41 victims had been recovered from the slide that buried the river
valley neighborhood in the Cascade mountain foothills.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday visited the site, offering
condolences to the families of victims, encouragement to rescue
workers and promises of government support.
The Snohomish County Council was to vote on the proposed moratorium
on construction within a half-mile of landslide hazard areas defined
by the county, council president Dave Somers said, according to
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The ban, which would not include projects with completed permits or
building applications, would give officials time to assess risks and
develop new policies as needed, Somers was quoted as saying.
Somers, and other Snohomish County officials, did not immediately
respond to requests for comment.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle;
editing by Janet Lawrence)
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