March 27 - Fresh video footage reveals the extent of the devastation from within the fatal mudslide in Washington state, where crews are combing through the rubble. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: At least 25 people were confirmed dead almost a week after landslide sent mud crashing into dozens of rural Washington state homes, searchers said. A rain-soaked hillside collapsed near the tiny town of Oso, about 55 miles (90 km) northeast of Seattle last Saturday (March 22), cascading over a river and a road into homes, blanketing about a square mile in muck and debris. On Thursday (March 27), Snohomish County battalion chief Steve Mason described the extent of the devastation. "Underneath there, there may be a house, or in some cases we've had houses that are more in tact than others. Some of them look like they've been put in a blender, and dropped on the ground. So you have basically just a big pile of debris; insulation, anything you can think of that would build a house, it's all there in a huge pile," Mason said. Emergency crews used dogs, small cameras and sophisticated listening devices to try and find buried bodies as other workers removed debris by hand. President Barack Obama has signed an emergency declaration ordering U.S. government assistance to supplement state and local relief efforts. A local disaster relief account had nearly $50,000 in it on Thursday. Authorities who whittled down a list of missing from about 176 people to 90 have said the victims could also include people from outside the community, such as construction workers or passing motorists. The slide ranks among the worst in the United States. In 1969, 150 people were killed in landslides and floods in Virginia, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. More than 100 houses were destroyed by a slow-moving landslide in the Washington state town of Kelso in the late 1990s.