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Rescuer reunited with woman he saved from US mudslide with her painting

Published on Mar 27, 2014 12:12 PM

ARLINGTON (REUTERS) - In the terrifying moments after she somehow emerged alive from the wall of mud and debris that swallowed her house, the only possession that Robin Youngblood managed to salvage was a painted portrait that once hung in her now-flattened home.

Youngblood, 63, was herself rescued by helicopter an hour after her home was reduced to "match sticks" by the powerful torrent of thick, gray muck that cascaded into her neighbourhood when a rain-drenched hillside across the river gave way without warning on Saturday.

On Wednesday, four days later, Youngblood came face to face once more with the man who whisked her and a precious family heirloom to safety from the rubble of her home northeast of Seattle.

She and crew chief Randy Fay of the Snohomish County helicopter rescue team embraced in a tearful reunion during an afternoon news conference in the town of Arlington, site of a command post for search teams looking for scores more people still missing in the slide that engulfed dozens of homes near the river valley hamlet of Oso.

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