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Calif. Sends Search and Rescue Team to Help in Washington Mudslide

 
Calif. Sends Search and Rescue Team to Help in Washington Mudslide
Posted Tuesday, March 25th 2014 @ 1pm  by KFBK News

California is sending 18 urban search and rescue specialists to help with the mudslide that hit northwest Washington state Saturday, killing at least 14 people -- with dozens more still missing.

California Fire and Rescue Chief Kim Zagaris says one of the first things his crew will do is identify exactly what is in that mudslide.

"Trees and brush and the houses and cars that it's consumed. It's over a mile wide from a few inches deep all the way to about 20 feet deep," Zagaris said. 

The team will also help narrow down the list of missing persons.

"Are people really missing? Or maybe they're on a trip out of the area -- any number of things. So, that's actually the real harder part next to actually locating the victims," he said. 

Zagaris says they're racing against the clock to find the remaining survivors.

"The ground is hardening up and it doesn't make for a good situation," he said. 

He says they will stay in Washington for as long as they're needed.

Workers from the American Red Cross Capital Region here in Sacramento are also heading to Washington state to help in the mudslide rescue efforts.

The Capital Regions volunteers will join nearly 100 trained Red Cross volunteers already there.

Additionally, Red Cross Mental Health volunteers have been providing emotional support and comfort to those impacted as the situation continues to develop.

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