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'It's pretty devastating:' Mudslide slams into Lewis Co. home, washes over Highway 7

NEAR MINERAL. Wash. - A huge mudslide slammed into a home and covered part of State Route 7 in Lewis County Thursday afternoon.

It happened near the town of Mineral, about half way between Elbe and Morton.

Alan Welsh said the slide took out the corner of his house and filled up his kitchen with mud and debris.

"I've got mud inside my house up to my refrigerator. I can't get to my refrigerator. I can't close my back door," he said.

He said a 12-inch round tree log stopped just short of his kitchen window. Outside, he said the mud was half-way up the side of his home.

"It pushed in the corner of my house, corner of my carport and part of another wall in another room and knocked the window out," said Welsh. "It's pretty devastating actually."

Welsh said he was not at home when the mud came crashing in, but soon got a phone call to come home.

"I didn't expect it because I looked at the creek earlier and it was down. It was running fast like usual when it rains," he said. "I was gone a half hour and got a phone call that our house was headed downstream, so I got home to see the mess. It's pretty bad."

Video captured by Eric Burroughs Jr. showed just how wide the slide stretches. Welsh estimated the slide was 100 to 200 feet across.

"It took out the guard rail, all the way across the front of my property and threw it across the road," said Welsh. "My son was here and he said when the water and everything hit the culvert it went 30 to 35 feet in the air."

Welsh said he plans to bring in heavy machinery on Friday to help move the debris away from his house and assess the damage.

"The house has been here since 1949 I think, and it's pretty well built," he said. "What got torn up the most was an addition that they had put on."

Welsh said he was just in the process of getting homeowner's insurance.

"Hopefully we can get her together and everything comes out alright," he said.

The slide also caused problems for first responders.

Lewis County Sheriff's deputies were cut off by the mudslide. But, Pierce County said it would respond to any emergency calls that deputies can't reach north of the slide.

The State Department of Transportation said they hope to have Highway 7 reopened sometime over the weekend. They said right now it would remain closed due to damage to the road support.



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