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Rain Makes Slippery Search At Deadly Landslide More Complicated

Al Maguire
Washington Dept. of Natural Resources
Rain on Tuesday is complicating the search for victims of the landlside in Snohomish County.

Light rain is falling on the valley north of Seattle Tuesday where hundreds of rescuers are still combing through debris from Saturday’s catastrophic landslide.

Snohomish County fire district chief Travis Hots says the change in the weather makes air and ground operations more challenging.

“Some of the ground that we are working on has become de-watered in the last few days," says Hots. "That has made it easier to get in there and move around. Now what we have is precipitation occurring -right now as we speak. So it is going to further complicate things, slow things down a little bit.”

At a morning briefing in Arlington, Wash., emergency officials said the confirmed death toll remains at 14. But they expect that to rise today.

As if to underscore that, Snohomish County announced it has requested assistance from a state mortuary team. A 50-member strong National Guard search and extraction team has also joined the response.

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.