SHADYSIDE, OHIO, JUNE 15 -- Torrential thunderstorms sent a flash flood surging out of two creeks through a valley into this Ohio River town, killing at least 11 people and leaving about 50 missing today, authorities said.

Raging floodwaters late Thursday swept homes off foundations and washed away cars. About 200 people were reported evacuated in central Ohio.

Ten bodies were taken to a funeral home here and one to a hospital, said Bob Bell, a funeral director. Chuck Vogt, Belmont County coroner's investigator, also said 11 were confirmed dead.

Earlier, Fire Chief Mark Badia had said 14 adults and two children were dead. Names of the victims have not been released.

County Sheriff Tom McCort, who said he was running the recovery effort, said 51 people in Shadyside and adjacent Meade Township were missing as of 8:45 p.m. The list was compiled through telephone inquiries with townspeople and relatives and interviews with evacuees.

Vogt said two bodies were found in the Ohio River and one in a field next to the river after water receded.

He said the rest were in the Wegee and Pipe creeks, which flow into the river.

"The valleys are choked with debris," Gov. Richard F. Celeste (D) told reporters after flying over the hilly Appalachian region in eastern Ohio. "A wall of water wiped a path through the area."

Celeste declared a state of emergency and dispatched about 50 National Guardsmen to help search Belmont County, which includes Shadyside and is largely rural and wooded. Many roads were impassable.

At least five houses along Wegee Creek here were washed away, and two cars were floating in water in one of the basements. Anything left standing was covered with debris, including trees, appliances and furniture.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency declared disaster areas in Belmont and neighboring Jefferson County and in Franklin County around Columbus. Since late May, 17 Ohio counties have been declared disaster areas because of flooding or tornadoes.

Before the tragedy, the National Weather Service had issued only a flood watch, said Al Wheeler, deputy meteorologist in Cleveland. NWS offices in Cleveland, Akron, Columbus and Pittsburgh indicated that the storm had diminished over eastern Ohio when it actually had intensified, he said.

The thunderstorms caused flash flooding across a wide area of central and eastern Ohio, northern West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. The floods closed roads, damaged homes and forced hundreds of people to evacuate.

But no place was hit with anything approaching the ferocity of flooding in Shadyside, a town of about 4,300 people 10 miles south of Wheeling, W.Va. About 5.5 inches of rain fell between 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., turning the two creeks outside the town into dangerous torrents.

More than 30 buildings, including the popular 3K's tavern, were damaged along Wegee Creek, and 50 buildings were hit by a flood along Pipe Creek, four miles south, said Dick Quinlin, Belmont County emergency services coordinator.

Part of the tavern was washed away when water caved in the back wall, said Judy Phillips, a sheriff's department spokeswoman. "It's unbelievable what the water has done, just unbelievable," she told a reporter.

Corky Gibbons, whose house was washed into a neighbor's garden, and his brother, Roger, owned the 3K's bar. All that remained were its roof, three pool tables, a few bar stools and shattered beer bottles.

Roger Gibbons said he and his son, 6, huddled in a back room as water lashed the wooden building. "The only thing that saved us was a couple of pool tables that helped block the water," Roger Gibbons said. "I thank God for those pool tables."

Gibbons said nine people were in the bar at the time. He and his son were the only ones accounted for this afternoon.

Rescuers pulled people from three cars in Wegee Creek, Fire Chief Badia said. "I don't know how to describe it. . . . You've got to see it to believe it," he said.

There was no complete accounting of deaths, said Karen Bovek, a spokeswoman at a fire department command center at a Shadyside school. "You're talking miles and miles of country roads that haven't been gotten to yet," she said. "It's a disaster here."

{Late tonight and early Saturday morning, the search for survivors and bodies was being carried out on hands and knees in the mud, Washington Post staff writer Mary Jordan reported.

{At Jefferson Elementary School, about 150 townspeople were staying overnight because their houses had been carried, in some instances, 2 1/2 to 3 miles from their foundations.

{Relief workers had set up a room in the school for counseling of distraught residents, a room where food was being served and another where children were rummaging through large piles of clothes brought for them. The school has no shower facilities but does have running water and electrical power.

{People were coming into the school checking lists of names of those found or thought to be missing. Meanwhile, many of the search and rescue workers were halting their work for the night because of darkness. The National Guard teams were expected to work all night.

{Ray Ponzo, who directs bands at the town's lone high school and two elementary schools, was there to help. "There's a lot of people grieving here," he said. "They've sat here all day long checking the list. They cry when people are found, and they're crying when people are still missing. I think a lot of people are in shock."}

Earlier today, Amber Colvin, 9, said she was swept down Wegee Creek into the river and stayed alive for seven hours by hanging on to logs and "just drifted" until she reached shore this morning. She had been in her family's home playing a card game with a neighbor when the storm hit Thursday night and the house started to fill with water.

Hospitalized in fair condition with minor injuries, she said she and her friend, Kerri Jo Polivki, 13, "got in the bathtub, and the water was over our heads and then the house collapsed." She said she does not know why they got in the tub but remembers Kerri being hit on the head, knocking her out. Kerri was missing today.

After being swept into the river, Amber said, she kept kicking her legs and clung to two logs, although she does not swim well. "I had them for a long time," she said. "I just drifted."

She said she was in the water until about 6 a.m. She tried to work her way to the shore to reach a factory where her father worked and was washed up about seven miles from home. She then "walked the railroad tracks," she said.

Karen Colvin said the last time she saw her daughter was at 9:30 p.m. She said she and her husband, Dennis, went into town to shop but could not return and did not know until 2 a.m. what happened to their house and Amber.

"I can't begin to tell you how she looked," Karen Colvin said. "I don't know who was in shock more, me or her. Her hands and feet had no color. She had her senses, but you just could tell she had been in the water. All she talked about was Kerri. We prayed all night."

Herman Adams wept as he recounted seeing the trailer home containing his daughter and two grandchildren carried off by Pipe Creek. "I just couldn't get to them," he said as he waited with others for word about missing relatives. "I hollered as loud as I could. It happened so fast."

Adams said he had eaten dinner with his daughter, Sue, and her two children at their trailer home Thursday night and returned to his house about 200 feet away when he heard rushing water.

" 'What the heck is that?' I thought," he said. "I have a window facing the creek. I looked out and saw the water" about three feet high. "Water was all around the trailer. I hollered and hollered. They couldn't hear me. The water was too high. I couldn't get to them. And then they were gone."

A neighbor, Becky Glaser, said Adams's wife had died recently. She put an arm around Adams and comforted him.