As hope of finding survivors in the Washington state landslide fades, stories of survival, however few, have surfaced.
Robin Youngblood, who was rescued by helicopter after Saturday's massive mudslide demolished her home, told hers on Wednesday.
"I didn't see it hit us," Youngblood told CNN's Anderson Cooper, of the Oso, Wash., slide. "It hit so fast that we went down. We were underwater and mud, and we had mud in every orifice. And the house was moving. And I just remember thinking, 'OK, Creator, if this is it, I might as well relax.' And I just let myself go limp."
About 30 seconds later, Youngblood, 63, began digging.
"The only way we got out is we dug the stuff out of our nose and mouth so we could breathe, but I was able to pick my way through debris and get up to the top," she said. "My house is matchsticks. There's nothing left. It ripped the roof off, and I thank God for that because if the roof had still been on, the house filled up with mud and water, we would have drowned."
When she got to the surface, she saw Jetty Dooper, an exchange student who was staying with her, pinned underneath a tree.
"I just yelled at her to dig herself out somehow, even if she was hurt," Youngblood said. "Better to be hurt and alive, because I could see that the house was going to fill up with mud."
Randy Fay, a volunteer with the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team, found the women floating on a piece of roof. Fay, who was also involved with the dramatic rescue of a 4-year-old boy earlier on Saturday, put the pair in a basket that was lifted by helicopter to safety.
“I was just saying ‘Thank you Creator,’” Youngblood told the Seattle Times.
At least 16 people died in Saturday's mudslide, though authorities said on Wednesday they expect that number to rise. An additional 90 people are listed as missing.
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