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West Virginia Communities Cope With 4 Feet Of Snow


It was an eventful weekend in Gerrardstown, W.V.

TRACY GLADDEN: Between the wind being 50 mph and, you know, a dumping of 44 inches all at one time, it was pretty nasty.

INSKEEP: Tracy Gladden (ph) says she has seen 44 inches of snowfall before, just not all at once. She is the owner of Tracy's Corner Grocery and Donnie's Homestyle Kitchen, and her businesses stayed open during the blizzard.

GLADDEN: We're at the base of the mountain and, you know, we're are community store. And we had to be here for the community because some of them just didn't take it serious or just wasn't able to because, you know, leaving - going home from work, they just wanted to get straight home.

INSKEEP: Gladden describes that community as a few churches and a few antique shops and her store. It's the kind of place where people came out in four-wheelers and a tractor to help clear the roads for emergency vehicle.

GLADDEN: We all kicked in. And like I said, there was a lot of shovels flying today and a lot of pushing. And the biggest thing is just where to put it.

INSKEEP: And when the roads were cleared, Tracy Gladden had what her neighbors need.

GLADDEN: Eggs, milk, bread, soda, snacks, of course, you know, the alcohol and the cigarettes. That's - (laughter) that seems to be a main thing, too, when you're getting snowed in, you know - movies, beer and cigarettes.

INSKEEP: Movies, beer and cigarettes - that could be a movie title all by itself. Now, about half an hour away - maybe a bit more with several feet of snow on the ground - is Green Gate Farm near Shepherdstown, W.V. There, Lars Prillaman was focused on his pigs, chickens and sheep.

LARS PRILLAMAN: Making sure that there's plenty of water, plenty of food in the event that we can't get to them was sort of, you know, priority number one.

INSKEEP: Nothing is easy in a storm, and the farm's tractor with the snow plow was broken, making it hard to take care of priority number one. Prillaman's truck couldn't get through the snow either, so he had to go old school.

PRILLAMAN: We hitched our draft horse to what's called a stone boat - it's basically a small sled - and off we went. And she got us out there, fed everybody and - yeah, it's - she's better than any tractor or truck I've ever owned (laughter).

INSKEEP: An OG of transportation, as used by livestock manager Lars Prillaman in Shepherdstown, W.V. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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