The Washington Mudslide: 24 Dead, 22 Still Missing, $10 Million Lost
The mudslide's official death toll is now 24, with three more bodies recovered today that have yet to be added.
As search crews continued today to comb through the millions of tons of mud from the March 22 Washington landslide, the state's governor Jay Inslee said in a letter to the federal government that estimated financial losses are at least $10 million -- $7 million for the structures destroyed and $3 million for what was inside them. Inslee is also asking President Obama to declare it a major disaster, thus making federal programs and funding available to search efforts and survivors.
The human cost, of course, is much greater. The official death toll now stands at 24, 18 of which have been identified. The Seattle Times has been keeping track of the fatalities on its site, from a four-month-old baby to a 69-year-old retired oceanographer and librarian.
As another three people were found today and have not been added to the official toll yet, that number should soon rise to 27.
In relatively good news, the number of people missing was lowered from 30 to 22. The Snohomish County Sheriff's Department released a list of those names tonight. Finding victims has not been an easy task; the mud is 70 feet deep in some areas and the dogs can only smell up to 10 feet. Two dogs got hypothermia yesterday, so they've been resting frequently and seeing on-site veterinarians to ensure their health and safety.
The New York Times has a map of the site before and after the slide that shows just how massive and destructive it was.