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New mother, baby survive roof collapse after heavy snowfall in Leavenworth

Emily Elkins thought she was safe at home Jan. 8, the day after a weather system brought 4 feet of snow.

SKYKOMISH, Wash. — The National Guard is on the ground in Leavenworth for a second full day after historic snowfall buried the small city. 

Winter weather knocked out power, made roads impassable and, in some cases, damaged buildings and houses.

The beauty of fresh snow blanketing downtown Leavenworth is quickly met by the reality of the historic storm.

“There was something there to save both of us, definitely not just luck,” said new mom Emily Elkins. 

Elkins was home Jan. 8, the day after a weather system brought 4 feet of snow.

“We thought the storm was over at this point,” Elkins said. That’s when she heard a crack. “It was the loudest thing that I’ve ever heard in my life and definitely the scariest.”

The roof above their trailer was collapsing.

“I grabbed [my child] as quick as I could right of the couch and I hovered over her and just tried to keep myself in a position where if I did die that I wouldn’t crush her and someone would find her,” Elkins said.

Elkins and her baby made it out OK – helped by neighbors who heard her screams. The rest of the city remains under the weight of the weather.

“We have reports from people coming out of Blewett Pass that say they’ve had almost 6 feet in 48 to 72 hours and that is just too much to deal with,” said Christie Voos, a spokesperson for the City of Leavenworth.

On Wednesday, National Guard troops went door to door again. Just north, roadcrews were working to clear Stevens Pass. Highway 2 remains closed and has been for several days – the avalanche danger just too high to open.

Stevens Pass could reopen Thursday.

Back in Leavenworth, and this new mom is staying close to her baby. 

“We’re just insanely lucky to be alive,” Elkins said.

A GoFundMe page has been setup to help them recover.

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