The death toll in the deadly Washington state mudslide rose to 21 on Sunday, as rescue crews said many of the local dogs used in the search effort will take a 2-day break after long hard hours in the cold and rain. Dogs can lose their sensing ability if they’re overworked.
“The conditions on the slide field are difficult, so this is just a time to take care of the dogs,” said Kris Rietmann, a spokeswoman for the team working on the eastern side of the slide. Dogs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that arrived later to the scene will continue working.
Searchers have had to deal with dangerous conditions, including septic tanks, gasoline, propane containers and rain that’s raising the water levels. In fact, when rescuers and dogs leave the site, they are hosed off by hazardous materials crews.
The mudslide occurred on March 22 about 55 miles northeast of Seattle and is one of the deadliest in U.S. history -about 30 people remain missing.
WeatherBug thanks all rescuers involved, including their canine counterparts — you guys are true heroes!
Our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
Stay Strong. Know Before™.
The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team