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The latest:

  • Snohomish County officials confirmed 30 deaths; 29 of those have been identified and 13 are still missing as of Friday night.
  • 20 special canine teams from FEMA have arrived at the site to assist search teams.
  • A big concern for crews is weather. Officials expect up to 3/4 of an inch of rain in the next 24 hours.

DARRINGTON, Wash. -- Heavy rain overnight Thursday made work more difficult and dangerous Friday for searchers in the Oso slide field.

Drainage ditches cut by hand crews helped channel off some of the rain but some of the carefully carved search plots turned to mud. Commanders say predictions for more rain for the area threaten to slow down work over the weekend.

Fresh search and rescue teams from FEMA arrived on scene Friday, along with 20 highly trained search dogs. They are expected to help make major progress if the rains don t get too heavy.

Every searcher, human or dog, that enters the slide zone will go through the decontamination tent on the way out. It is standard procedure in disasters like this one, where chemical and biological toxins are present. But experts monitoring the site said, so far, they have seen no obvious signs of toxic exposure to workers or the environment.

The number of people listed as missing after the March 22 slide has dropped to 13 on the latest list provided by the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

Officials said that 44-year-old Victor Ford and an unidentified 50- to 60-year-old man added to the list Thursday have been removed. Sheriff's office spokeswoman Shari Ireton said the unidentified man is the one already at the Snohomish County medical examiner's office.

She didn't say why Ford's name had been removed.

The medical examiner's office said the number of confirmed deaths stands at 30 as of Friday afternoon and that 29 have been identified.



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