Gov. Inslee assures anxious crowd: Rescue is still "top priority"

by: Gary Horcher Updated:

Steve Hadaway

DARRINGTON, Wash. - Gov. Jay Inslee told a concerned crowd technical rescue help would arrive in Darrington early Tuesday morning, and the new crews would begin searching the landslide area immediately.

Inslee faced a packed community meeting in Darrington Monday night. Many of the people attending voiced their frustration at the delay in locating their missing friends and relatives. Inslee explained the difficulty of searching in the soft, unstable terrain.

“There's a square mile of slurry on top of family homes,” said Inslee.  “I know these families are extremely anxious to get every ounce of resources possible. We intend to do that.''

Inslee said much of the rescue operation on the east side of the landslide had to be stopped because of major slides that continue to fall.

John Hadaway came to the meeting to find out if he could join the search for his 53-year-old brother, Steve.

“I’ve got to have hope no matter what,” Hadaway said. “I got to have hope, no matter what happens, because we want him home, it's all we want."

Steve Hadaway, was installing home satellite systems for Dish Network when the slide buried the Steelhead neighborhood where he was working.

No one has heard from him since. His daughter is convinced he survived.

John Hadaway’s daughter shares the optimism that her father survived the slide.

"I’m pretty sure he's just sitting there like stuck and he's going to be mad that it took them this long to come and get him,” said Brandy Hadaway.

Governor Inslee told the Hadaways to have confidence in the technical expertise joining the search effort.

“I can tell you these rescue personnel, both professional and volunteers, are pedal to the metal,” he said. “They want to get in there and they are getting in there to the extent humanly possible."