Oso, Washington - Hampton Affiliates owns and operates a sawmill in Darrington, Washington, near the site of the square mile-wide mudslide that happened this past Saturday. This was a terrible tragedy for the Oso, Darrington, and surrounding communities.
“While we are shocked and sorrowed by the devastation from this horrific natural disaster, we are grateful that none of our Darrington employees were killed or injured,” said Steve Zika, Hampton CEO. “Unfortunately, one of our employees lost his home and several of our employees have lost family members in the slide and we deeply regret their loss and share their sorrow.
I am proud of how our employees have courageously and generously responded by helping in the rescue activity. The site is now controlled by local, state, and federal authorities and we have to wait patiently while they look for further victims and, hopefully, survivors, and stabilize the site,” Zika added.
Zika commented that even in a time of tragedy and trauma, Hampton employee creativity went into high gear with many people working successfully to restore communications on the Darrington plant site and resolve numerous issues related to trucking and residuals. The sawmill and planer are operating and the extra effort by employees to get to work under taxing conditions is appreciated. Hampton knows it will be a challenge to keep lumber flowing to customers in the foreseeable future as there is no timeline for reopening Highway 530 at this time, however, alternative transportation routes have been identified.
“We are having frequent communication with our employees to make sure they stay safe during this difficult period when it might be hard to focus on job-related activities. Hampton is providing grief counseling and donating money to the community to help provide food and other essentials to people who have lost their homes or are otherwise impacted by this disaster. We will continue to monitor the situation to see where we can help and are in touch with government officials to ensure resources are being brought to bear timely and appropriately,” said Zika.
Zika notes that Hampton employees who understand what a tragedy means to a rural community and want to help have reached out and stand ready to assist with their personal resources when specific needs are identified.
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