Volunteers Join Search for Survivors after Oso MudslidePosted: Updated:
UPDATE/DARRINGTON, WA - Rescue crews are punching through debris and mud on Tuesday to open a road to Darrington, where a mudslide struck on Saturday.
Volunteer spokeswoman Cindy White says the department won't be able to accept any more volunteers Tuesday.
People from near and far came to help the professional searchers look through the debris field from Saturday's mudslide.
White says the fire department is also setting up a registry to keep track of local residents who are searching on their own, in order to closely track all volunteers for their own safety.
President Barack Obama is asking Americans to send their thoughts and prayers to Washington state as search operations continue.
Obama says part of the tight-knit community of Oso, Washington has been lost, but he is commending first responders for acting bravely, and for people who have come forward to help fellow citizens.
Obama spoke with Washington Governor Jay Inslee and signed an emergency declaration for the state. Obama says, quote, "We hope for the best, but we recognize this is a tough situation."
At least 14 people are confirmed dead. Dozens more are thought to be unaccounted for or missing.