As rescue efforts continue in Washington’s tragic mudslide, two bodies were found Tuesday, raising the death toll to 24.
With 176 people still unaccounted for, rescue workers are continuing the search that destroyed over 40 properties last Saturday.
“We had a very challenging day today with the rain,” said Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots. “Unfortunately we didn’t find any signs of life.”
As previously reported, the mudslide was a result of a hillslide collapse. Authorities say heavy rainfall caused unstable ground that led to the slide. The slide inadvertently created a dam across the north fork of the Stillaguamish River.
State geologist Dave Norman, who visited the site Monday, estimated the expanse of hillside that collapsed at 600 feet high and 1,500 feet long, and described the slide area as still “moving.” He said the debris field was about 4,400 feet across and had traveled about that same distance across the landscape, and was 30 to 40 feet deep in spots.
Because the soil contains clay, it makes it harder for workers to find survivors.
John Pennington, director of Snohomish County’s emergency management department, told reporters that residents were aware of the mudslide ahead of time.
“We have pushed message after message,” he said, responding to questions about whether his department had done enough to warn the nearby community. “My job is advanced warning.”
Families and rescue teams are remaining optimistic on finding love ones. Our prayers go out to the families of all the missing residents.
SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.