VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Twenty-two Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team members are back in Vancouver after an exhausting seven-day search for those swept away in the Johnsons Landing mudslide.

News1130 caught up with the team. Most of the members are exhausted, as most days, they’re running on about four hours’ sleep.

“There was some sense that we didn’t accomplish all of our objectives because there’s still two missing people up there,” says Assistant Chief Jim Young.

“After reflection, we realized the magnitude of the operation that we were faced with up there, and believe that we really did do everything in our power to bring closure for the families,” he adds.

“We would have been prepared to stay there for another month, but if you look at the magnitude of that site and what we were able to achieve, we have to all agree that it was a successful operation in that regard,” explains Young.

Doug Smith is the team’s engineer. He admits it was terrifying to know that the area could give way again.

“It was like a moonscape or something. There was no vegetation… [just] dirt and trees. We were struck just by the force of it because most of the trees had their bark stripped right off,” describes Smith.

The last time the team dealt with something this massive was with Hurricane Katrina.