ARLINGTON, Wash. – As the search operation continues, the area where specialized canine search teams and Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Forces are seeking to recover SR530 Slide fatalities grows smaller. Considering the progress that has been accomplished, officials have made the decision to release California Task Force 7 (CA-TF7) as early as Monday, April 14, 2014. Washington Task Force 1 and search canines will remain onsite on the eastern side of the slide as the search continues.
As search and recovery is completed on the western side of the slide area, assets are being reassigned to augment efforts on the eastern side of the slide.
Engineering and construction of a temporary berm designed to support dewatering efforts from impacted areas on the eastern side continue to progress as planned. While pumping operations continue in the eastern area, search efforts will expand into these areas as well, according to Jason Bierman of the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management.
“With a Task Force preparing to transition, we want to ensure everyone that the intensity of the search is not being reduced,” said US&R Rescue Team Leader Rob Patterson. “We are continuing to work as hard as we can.”
Recent drier weather has also aided in the search efforts as crews continue to make progress and clear certain sections of terrain flooded by the slide.
CA-TF7, which has been based in Darrington, will have a partial contingent searching on the western side of the slide on Sunday April 13, 2014, as the remaining members of the team prepare their equipment for demobilization.
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