TODAY

TODAY   |  April 01, 2014

Mudslide victim’s dad: ‘I’m trying to find my son’

Officials have released new casualty figures in the massive mudslide in Washington. The official death toll has risen to 24, while 22 are still considered missing.  Officials have also released a list of the names of the missing as the search continues. NBC’s Joe Fryer reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> good morning, everyone. washington state is seeking federal help to deal with the mounting losses from the massive mudslide. officials have also released new casualty figures. joe fryer is in arlington, washington, with the latest. joe, good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, tamron. the official death toll has risen to 24, 22 people are still considered missing. and officials have now released a list with their names as the search continues.

>> dry weather is offering much-needed relief this morning for a search that still has no clear end.

>> that's the million dollar question. how long this operation could go on. you know, it's -- it's hard to say.

>> among the searchers, relatives of 13-year-old jovan.

>> i'm out there every day trying to find my son.

>> he wants his son to know this.

>> that his daddy searched every day until he found him. that i love him, very, very much.

>> kids in town got a morale boost when members of the super bowl winning seahawks visited a community center .

>> i was pretty excited, and i got to throw the ball around.

>> as the search continues, questions linger over the cause of the slide. in addition to heavy amounts of rain, some have asked if logging played a role. an implication the state forrester called speck thulative.

>> the question needs to be addressed.

>> reporter: others question if this could have been predicted given the slope's history of slides, including a smaller one in 2006 and in 1999 draft report that warned of the potential for a catastrophic failure.

>> but geologists shouldn't be the only people who have the privilege of geologic information. that needs to be shared widely.

>> the governor is asking the president to declare the oso mudslide a major disaster. that would clear the way for housing and other assistance for those impacted by this slide.