Natural Disaster
9:10 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

Oso Landslide Death Toll Rises, Number Of Missing Drops

The death toll has risen to 18 following the devastating landslide near Oso. One bright spot: The number of people missing has fallen dramatically, down to 30.

Searchers are still pulling bodies from the debris, sometimes in pieces. Steve Schertzinger, a chaplain with the nearby Marysville Police Department, described what it was like to deliver bad news to a grieving family member.

"We sat down and I just said, 'Well, the waiting is over.' And then I cried. I cried," he said.

Schertzinger says he expects the sorrow to hang over this community long after the search for victims is done.

"This was not an event; this really is a whole season. So it won't even be over when the last body is found. It will continue on," he said.

Heavy rain continues to hamper search teams, but crews have managed to finish a primitive road linking one side of the landslide site to the other. That will aide recovery crews but it's not open to the general public