Nation & World

Mom, baby ‘lucky to be alive’ after roof caves in under 4 feet of snow in Washington

Emily Elkins, from Leavenworth, said she and her baby were “lucky to be alive” after the roof of their trailer collapsed — with them inside.
Emily Elkins, from Leavenworth, said she and her baby were “lucky to be alive” after the roof of their trailer collapsed — with them inside. Screengrab from KING 5

New mom Emily Elkins was at home in Leavenworth, Washington, with her baby when a winter storm brought in 4 feet of snow.

The storm was responsible for a slew of flood warnings, road closures, school closures, icy roads, and the shutdown of a major mountain pass in Washington and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest, The Associated Press reported.

By Jan. 8, Elkins thought that the worst of the storm had passed. Then, she heard a crack.

“I heard what everyone around in this area knows, it’s just the snow sliding off the roof, and I thought ‘oh, there it goes,’ and then I started to hear two by sixes snapping,” Elkins told Fox 13.

But she quickly realized that the roof above her trailer was collapsing, KING 5 reported.

“I grabbed Autumn, I threw her to my chest and I dove in between our couch and our coffee table and I cuddled over her,” she told Fox 13. “I thought, ‘I am going to die, but I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure that she makes it.’”

Fortunately, neighbors who heard her screams were able to help her, KING 5 reported.

“We’re just insanely lucky to be alive,” she told the outlet.

The roof wasn’t the only thing that took a beating from the snow — the weight of it also damaged the car port next to it, which housed vehicles, a small trailer and more, Fox 13 reported.

“Our house is gone, our car is gone. We lost almost everything, but we have each other and that is so important,” Elkins told the outlet. “We’re just so, so lucky to be here, and I’m able to hold her and love her and watch her grow up, and that was almost taken.”

Leavenworth has been experiencing record-breaking snowfall — as of Jan. 11, the town was still struggling to clear out the 4 feet of snowfall that it experienced in 48 hours between Jan. 6 and 7, The Seattle Times reported.

In response, Leavenworth Mayor Carl Florea issued a state of emergency on Jan. 7, declaring a disaster and requesting assistance from the National Guard. A news release on the state of emergency said the snow was “causing concern for life safety and structure stability in the community at large.”

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This story was originally published January 14, 2022 3:55 PM.

Vandana Ravikumar is a McClatchy Real-Time reporter. She grew up in northern Nevada and studied journalism and political science at Arizona State University. Previously, she reported for USA Today, The Dallas Morning News, and Arizona PBS.
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