Mudslide crews and search dogs take much-needed rest
Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 00:51
March 30 - Some of the search and recovery crews at the scene of last week's landslide in Washington state take a much-needed rest, as rain hampers the work of those who remain at the site. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
Crews continued to search for missing bodies at the scene of last weekend's massive landslide in Oso, Washington that has likely left as many as 28 dead and up to 30 others still missing.
But rainy weather, too, continued to hamper search efforts on Sunday (March 30) as the region received a foot of rain since Friday alone, said Kris Rietmann, spokesperson for the Washington State Department of Transportation, during a news conference with reporters.
Some 125 search and rescue personnel were working at the scene on Sunday, down from more than 200 at the site the day before, as personnel take some much-needed rest, she said.
"We also have a number of volunteers that are on the slide field as memento collections crews," said Rietmann. "That is a very important thing to this community to collect the personal belongings and mementoes of families that have been impacted by the slide. Those mementoes go through a decontamination process and then they are securely stored so that families can be reunited with some of their belongings," she told reporters.
The rescue dogs that had become such a crucial element in the recovery of bodies under the thick muck and debris were also being given a two-day rest, she said.
"This is just a time to take care of the dogs. In addition to that, after a long time at a scene dogs can lose their scenting ability. So taking that break is important," said Rietmann.
Churches planned services on Sunday to offer prayers for the victims of the devastating March 22 mudslide which left a debris field that covers a square mile.
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