TODAY   |  March 28, 2014

Washington mudslide death toll may soar

Rescuers fight through brutal conditions at the site of the massive mudslide in Washington, as officials suggest the death toll could increase dramatically. Residents are pulling together to help each other. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

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>>> meantime, it's been nearly a week since the massive and deadly mudslide in washington. and while officials say they have months of work ahead of them, residents are pulling together to help each other out. miguel almaguer is in washington.

>> reporter: good morning, the grief and sorrow can be seen on faces walking up and down streets and inside grocery stores , this town has lost 17 people , while 90 remain missing.

>> reporter: with each passing day in oso, a closer look at the damage and at the toll that's left behind. this morning, 90 people are missing. many of them lived near or on steel head drive. rescue teams are looking for survivors, but have only recovered bodies. for grieving families, a chance to say good-bye.

>> it's just devastation. somewhere out there is my sister.

>> reporter: he sifted through rubble for five days to find his sister summer. his mother wanted to see her one last time.

>> she first started crying and was taken aback and goes, go get her, dane, go get her and bring her home to me.

>> natasha lost her mom saturday, but held out hope her 4-month-old baby survived the slide. thursday, her body was recovered, natasha telling us her little snow bug has been found. it could take months to recover all of the missing. frank hattaway still can't find his brother steve.

>> you couldn't have got anybody that was more loved by everybody.

>> reporter: in this community full of loss, there are plenty of signs of love. the boy scouts are feeding firefighters.

>> brought me 800 pounds of chicken.

>> local businesses are collecting cash.

>> we're just trying to help any way we can. we're pretty tight knit family, town.

>> reporter: even school children are turning pennies into dollars raising money for the victims. a community healing together in a time where heartbreak is everywhere.

>> reporter: the news may get worse before it gets better. in a few hours, we expect to hear the number of deaths has risen. the fire chief says he's never seen so much destruction before, but he's never seen a town come together quite like this. savannah, carson?

>> miguel almaguer, thank you very much.