National News

Mar 28, 2014 5:27 PM by NBC News

The latest in the rising toll of victims in Saturday's massive mudslide

(NBC) National Guard specialists have training to prepare them for this, but these conditions are brutal.

They're not only digging through mud but fighting mudflow currents.

Everyone is exhausted, getting rest where they can, but are determined to keep going.

"Areas that have dried out are going to become even more saturated with water. The areas that already have water that we've been working in, we'll see some additional water going in those areas. It just makes things slower and more complicated," said Chief Travis Hots of the Snohomish County Fire Department.

In their minds are the faces of the missing and of those recovered, like 55-year old Steve Neal.

His daughter says Neal's body was found Wednesday.

He was a plumber who ran out to fix a hot water heater, who told his wife he'd be right back.

The small town is pulling together and sharing the pain, spreading what comfort they can for families and rescue crews.

Closing in on a week since the slide, this impossible search is only getting harder.

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