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14 Confirmed Dead, 176 Missing in Wash. Mudslide

'Entire neighborhoods are just gone'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2014 12:27 AM CDT
14 Confirmed Dead, 176 Missing in Wash. Mudslide
The massive mudslide that left dozens missing Saturday is shown from nearly directly above in this aerial photo near Arlington, Wash.    (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(Newser) – The number of people missing or unaccounted for after a mudslide that wiped out a riverside neighborhood in Washington state has soared to 176 from 108, with 14 now confirmed dead. The chief of Snohomish County's Department of Emergency Management says the list is still vague and he is sure the final number of victims will be lower, though area residents say they know entire families that are still missing, the Seattle Times reports. Others on the missing list include repairmen who were out on jobs and a group of girls who were at a slumber party.

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Firefighters, police officers, heavy equipment, and even a hovercraft are being used in the search effort, and rescuers say they still hold out hope of finding people alive, NBC reports. In some places, searchers have been sinking in the mud, which can measure up to 20 feet deep. One volunteer firefighter says many tragic stories from the scene remain to be told. "It's much worse than everyone’s been saying," he says. "The slide is about a mile wide. Entire neighborhoods are just gone. When the slide hit the river, it was like a tsunami." (Read more mudslide stories.)

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