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Mudslide Relief Donations Top $1.5 Million

The outpouring of support for Oso and Darrington, Wash., has been overwhelming — literally so.

The outpouring of public support for the residents of Washington towns affected by a deadly mudslide has been overwhelming — literally so.

More than $1.1 million in local donations alone had flowed in through Thursday night to assist search efforts and help families in the towns of Oso and Darrington, about 55 miles northeast of Seattle, after the devastating mudslide last Saturday, The Everett Herald reported.

Friday, two American Indian tribes with deep roots in Snohomish County kicked in with almost $400,000 more: The Snoqualmie Tribe distributed $275,000 among six fire departments, hospitals and related operations, while the Stillaguamish Tribe donated $100,000 to relief in Oso.

Tens of thousands of dollars more have come in from donors who have expressed concern from as far away as New Zealand, authorities said this week.

Coordinating all that assistance takes time and effort — resources that could be put to use working in the rescue.

Authorities urged people looking to help to certainly do so but asked that they work through relief agencies experienced with handling major disasters, like the Red Cross, the United Way and other organizations you can find in this guide to lending a hand.

After officials in Darrington said they were hoping to streamline the process, North Counties Family Services — a nonprofit relief agency based in the town — set up a single email address through which it hopes all donations will be made, the agency told NBC News.

— M. Alex Johnson, Olivia Santini and Vicky Collins, NBC News

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