Mourners to Remember Victims of Deadly Wash. Mudslide

Saturday, 05 Apr 2014 09:02 AM

 

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Mourners were set to gather on Saturday to remember two women killed by Washington state's massive mudslide, the first in a series of memorial events as the search for other bodies continued.

Summer Raffo, a 36-year-old a school custodian, was driving down Highway 530 when the torrent of mud swept her car off the road northeast of Seattle on March 22. Her brother later pulled her body from the vehicle.

Retired librarian Linda McPherson, 69, was found dead in the wreckage of her home - one of about three dozen properties engulfed on the outskirts of the town of Oso in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Her husband was also in the house at the time but survived.

About 30 people have been confirmed dead and recovery crews are still searching for the remains of, according to one estimate, another 13 people still unaccounted for.

Recovery efforts have been hampered by wet weather leaving treacherous conditions and raising the risk of further slides and flash floods. More rain and runoffs of melting mountain snow are forecast.

Friends and family were due to remember McPherson at the community center in the nearby town of Darrington.

Raffo's funeral will take place in Arlington, a city on the other side of the disaster zone.

Funerals area also planned over the next few days for five-year-old Kaylee Spillers, whose father and two siblings are among the dead and missing, and Alan Bejvl, 21, whose fiance, Delaney Webb, was also killed in the slide.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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