Obama is going to be visiting the landslide area just up the road from my farm on 4-22-2014. They've already indicated that they're going to close the road for his convoy; they're already restricting parking along the likely route.
The landslide area is turning into a huge public works project. 600 people are working there every day; and just about everyone who owns an excavator or a bulldozer or a big rock truck has equipment up there. There's a lot of local companies that are seeing this landslide as a blank-check venture. There's no budget an there's no saying no.
The road from town to the landslide is dotted with signs - "oso strong" and "we love you oso" and "thank you" - the last aimed at the workers. The community does appreciate the responders. But I'm hoping with the presidents visit that we can return to something that seems a little more normal.
The biggest problem right now is that the town of darrington is being economically strangled because what used to be a 30 minute drive is now over 2 hours -- the sawmill that is the biggest employer is losing $500,000 a month in extra transport costs.
I think concentrating on releasing the landslide area and allowing the road crews in to fix the road will make the biggest short-term difference to the most people.
4 weeks ago