In an official update Friday morning, Snohomish County Fire Chief Travis Hots said the official death toll from the slide, according to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office, remains at 17 despite a long, grim recovery operation.
said due to the sensitive nature of the recovery, and the small, tight-knit community of Oso, the official number of dead would only be released as it was confirmed by the medical examiner's office.
There was speculation earlier the official number would spike - with 90 people still officially missing.
As victims are brought to the medical examiner's office, information is not sent out until the victims have been identified.
would be updated later today by the MEO and a press conference will be held at 6 p.m. with those new figures.
Recovery operation soldiers on
The recovery process continues almost a week after a deadly wall of mud rocked the town of Oso, near Arlington Saturday March 22, destroying at least 30 homes.
"Rain wind and weather working against us," said Hots
"Fatigue of our first responders is a huge concern," said Hots
Plea for donations
Now, officials are calling for donations big and small to help victims pay for funerals, and search efforts.
said the people of Oso do not need anymore clothing or blankets, they just need money.