WATCH ABOVE: Rain is forecast straight through Saturday in western Washington, complicating the search for victims of last weekend’s giant mudslide. Bigad Shaban is in Darrington, Washington with the latest
Snohomish County authorities have a clearer idea of the number of people missing in the massive Washington State mudslide. Initially authorities believed 176 were missing but today in a press conference Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said there are 90 people missing.
In addition to the missing individuals there are 35 people whose status is unknown and the number of safe and sound is 140.
The number of confirmed deaths has not changed. There are 25 people confirmed dead, but nine bodies have still to be recovered.
Weather issues on Tuesday hampered the search for people in the soupy, debris-laden field where about two dozen homes were flattened in a community near the town of Oso on Saturday.
On Wednesday, the search will continue on both sides of the slide. The National Guard has been called in and they will be helping to search on the west side and they have set up a grid system to ensure they cover all areas.
On the east side of the slide, near the town of Darrington, the Washington Task Force will be helping search teams scour the debris.
But the search is hard on those that are allowed into the slide area to help look for the residents.
WATCH: Solemn vigil held to honour those killed in Washington landslide
Pennington said the county now has a federal declaration for direct federal assistance in the search and clean-up.
“That’s a really good thing for us because it essentially says that the federal government can come in and do things unimpeded, without a lot of bureaucracy, and that will help us,” he said. “What we don’t have yet actually is a more formalized process of a traditional disaster declaration. That includes such things as debris removal and emergency protective measures, but that is in the process and that is coming.”
On Wednesday an emergency bus service will be set up between Darrington and the Chuckanut Park and Ride so that residents who were previously cut off will be able to go and get groceries and other essential items. More information on that bus service will be found on the Community Transit website.
A Crisis Care Hotline has also been set up for anyone impacted by the slide. That is a 24-hour a day service at 1-800-584-3578.
Donation Management Centres should also be opening today in Darrington and Arlington, and there is a community meeting set for 7:30 p.m. tonight in Darrington.
GALLERY: Deadly Washington mudslide