Press Releases

DelBene Honors 10-Year Anniversary of Oso Landslide on House Floor

WATCH: Congresswoman Calls for Reauthorization of Landslide Law that is Protecting Communities from Future Slide Risks

Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) honored the memory of the 43 people who lost their lives in the tragic SR-530 Oso landslide a decade ago.

In the aftermath of this devastating event, DelBene authored and was critical to passing the National Landslide Preparedness Act to help address key gaps in science and mapping critical to understanding and responding to landslide hazards.

Provisions of the landslide law expire in September 2024. DelBene recently introduced legislation to extend these landslide prevention programs that are helping save lives, protecting communities and property, and improving natural disaster emergency preparedness.

Watch DelBene’s remarks here. Her remarks as delivered are below:

Madam Speaker, I rise today on a solemn occasion.

A decade ago this week, Washington state confronted one of the worst natural disasters in its history.

On the morning of March 22, a hillside near the communities of Oso and Darrington collapsed, creating a devastating landslide that killed 43 people in just seconds. 

It was and still remains the single deadliest landslide in U.S. history.

Karen Pszonka lost 6 members of her family, including her daughter, Katie, and grandsons, Wyatt and Hunter. Three generations of her family were wiped out in less than two minutes, along with so many others.

In the aftermath of this landslide, I authored The National Landslide Preparedness Act, which was signed into law in 2021. It has been a vital resource for communities to better identify, prepare for, and respond to landslides in the years since.

The law expands early warning systems, improves mapping technology, and provides states with grants to improve preparedness. The landslide law expires in a few months.

I recently introduced bipartisan legislation with Congresswomen Schrier and Gluesenkamp-Perez and Senators Cantwell and Wieckowski to keep these programs going.

This law passed with strong bipartisan support last time. We must do this again to ensure that the next natural disaster does not become the next national tragedy.

Thank you. I yield back.