More Flood Sites Declared Federal Disaster Areas

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

Sections of Virginia and Pennsylvania were declared federal disaster areas Saturday in the wake of last week’s floods, and West Virginia’s governor authorized state police to deputize even “individuals in the street” to help disaster relief efforts.

Farther west, the season’s first widespread snowstorm sent temperatures diving and left half a foot or more of snow Saturday from the Dakotas to Michigan, turning roads into skating rinks. At least one death was blamed on the storm.

National Guard troops began razing condemned buildings Saturday in one water-ravaged West Virginia town, and a federal official said that temporary housing for the thousands of families whose homes were destroyed or left uninhabitable will not be available for weeks.


Damage estimates in Virginia and West Virginia, which absorbed the brunt of the flood destruction, climbed to nearly $645 million, officials said.

Earlier, President Reagan had declared eight counties in West Virginia disaster areas, making them eligible for federal aid. West Virginia Gov. Arch A. Moore Jr. announced Saturday that he had given state Police Supt. Fred Donohoe authority to deputize “sheriff’s departments, local police, conservation officers and, if necessary, individuals in the street” to help with disaster relief.

In Virginia, the swollen James River receded to within its banks Saturday, after cresting nearly 22 feet above flood stage.

The Appalachian flooding, caused by four days of heavy rain, killed 23 people in West Virginia, 21 in Virginia and one each in Pennsylvania and Maryland. In addition, at least 35 people are missing in West Virginia.

In the Northeast, winds blowing at 17 m.p.h. dropped the wind-chill factor to 12 below zero during the morning at Alexandria, Minn.

Vail, Colo., recorded as much as three feet of new snow Saturday. In Denver, which had seven inches, high winds forced the closing of two of Stapleton International Airport’s four runways, delaying flights.


At Green Bay, Wis., where six inches of snow fell Saturday morning, the National Weather Service said it appeared to be the earliest “heavy” snowfall since 1916.