TODAY   |  March 25, 2014

14 dead, 176 reported missing in Wash. mudslide

More bodies have been pulled from the aftermath of the tragic mudslide in Washington. At least 14 are dead and as many as 176 others reported missing. TODAY surveys the devastation from the ground and air. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

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>> a lot more on that story in a moment.

>>> the new developments on the massive mudslide in washington. as the death toll climbs this morning, emergency crews say their hopes of finding any more survivors are diminishing. miguel almaguer toured the site by air. he's seen it and seen the devastation. good morning to you.

>> reporter: savannah, good morning. with the death toll at 14 and the number of unaccounted at 176, there's fear that the search may become a recovery mission. from the air, it's clear, there's much ground to cover.

>> reporter: in the sky above oso, we find the desperate search for the missing. these are neighbors looking for neighbors. this small town now a massive debris field where there is notary public sign of life.

>> the street, the community that took the brunt of the damage. this is the area where first responders heard cries for help for 12 hours. they just couldn't reach everybody.

>> reporter: amanda moved just one week ago, the nurse hasn't been seen since saturday. neither has steven hadaway who was at her home installing a satellite dish.

>> i think that's the hardest part. we just want him home.

>> reporter: this morning, hundreds are waiting for a loved one to come home. but this is what rescue teams face on the ground. state route 530 used to look like this. today, homes and cars are buried on this road.

>> crews out there are up against enormous challenges. the debris field's like big berms of clay and quicksand. sometimes it takes five minutes to walk, you know, 40, 50 feet.

>> reporter: search teams have been looking for librarian linda mcpherson. her family waiting for any news.

>> oh, my god.

>> after her dog was pulled from the rubble, there seemed like reason to hold on to hope.

>> he needs a bath really bad. today in oso, it's the small moments that keep so many families going.

>> reporter: as this rescue enters day four, volunteers are being allowed to join the search. the national guard is here. it is all hands on deck.