ARLINGTON, Wash. - Authorities in northwestern Washington state aren't yet updating the death toll from last weekend's catastrophic mudslide.
They had earlier said they would announce a substantial spike today in the number of fatalities. A fire chief now says the new numbers will be released this evening. He says the official toll stands at 17, although searchers have located additional bodies that are not part of that toll.
According to the fire official, the information on fatalities will have to come from the medical examiner's office, which is going through the process of identifying bodies that are recovered.
Up to an inch of rain is in the forecast today in the area of the mudslide. Forecasters say it will complicate the search and recovery effort, and add moisture to the hillside that is already unstable.
Meanwhile, five people who were injured in the mudslide are still hospitalized. A 58-year-old man is back in intensive care after surgery to repair his pelvis. The four others include a 5-month-old boy in critical condition, and an 81-year-old man in serious condition.
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