DARRINGTON, Wash. - One of the few survivors of last weekend's deadly mudslide in northwestern Washington state says the roar of the hillside collapsing was so loud, she thought an airplane had crashed.
But when Robin Youngblood looked out the window of her mobile home, she saw a wall of mud racing toward her across a river valley.
She says, "All I could say was `Oh my God' and then it hit us." Youngblood says the mud hit "like a wave," and pushed up the mobile home, tearing off the roof. She says, "When we stopped moving, we were full of mud everywhere."
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The wall of mud and water engulfed her and a student of her church. They found themselves clinging to the unattached roof, before some additional water came in. They were covered in freezing mud as they waited for help. She says, "We cleaned everything from our noses and mouth so we could breathe."
A helicopter arrived after about an hour, and crews were able to remove them from the mud. Youngblood has developed a cough from hypothermia, but she's otherwise OK. Her student suffered some deep bruises.
Youngblood is hoping some family heirlooms survived. She's waiting to find out. As for the destroyed community, she says, "I don't think anybody is going to be able to go back to that valley for years and years."
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