‘I woke up and everything was black’: Man describes moments following Schenectady mudslide

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The home at 15 Barney Street has been demolished, but the fate of another building remains up in the air.

The red building at the bottom of the hill got the brunt of the mudslide, trapping a family inside for several terrifying and painful moments.

A 19-year-old was seriously injured when the mudslide came crashing down. His uncle, Reco Ross, spoke to NEWS10 ABC about the family’s harrowing escape.

“Do you know what it’s like to feel like you’re dying?” said Ross. “It could have only taken a couple seconds, but it feels like a lifetime.”

Reco Ross describes the fear and agony in the moments following the hillside outside their home giving way. Soil, rocks and trees all crashed down on the apartment Ross shares with his two teen nephews.

“All of a sudden, we heard a rumble and the next thing you know, I woke up and everything was black. I woke up next to my nephew screaming,” said Ross.

Ross and his 16-year-old nephew managed to dig their way out, and were injured in the process.

“We had to take a crock pot and bust out the side window and stand on top of the table,” said Ross.

Ross’ 16-year-old nephew was pinned in. First-responders had to use the jaws of life to free him. He was flown to Albany Med, where Ross says he is currently doing OK.

Ross says the whole family is lucky to be alive.

“For a moment, it’s like ‘ok, we gotta survive right now’,” said Ross. “But we all took care of each other, and we all got out alive. That’s the good thing.”

Ross lost his home, but he knows he could have lost so much more, and is looking for someone to take the blame.

“Somebody should be answering for this,” said Ross. “I could have lost both of my nephews all in one day.”

Ross still wants to get his belongings out of his home, but officials say that isn’t likely at this time and that the building will likely have to be partially demolished, at the very least.

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