TERRA ALTA, W. Va. (KDKA) — The prettiness of the snow-capped hills of Preston County, W. Va., offers no hint of the hardships of the past 10 days.
“We had 36 inches of snow in one night,” said Tim Cramer, a Preston County resident, “and we was five days trying to get out of here altogether.”
On Possum Hollow Road in Terra Alta, it’s not been easy at the more than century-old home place where Cramer and his mother, Cindy, live.
“We’ve been pretty lucky,” Tim says. “We’ve got a spring for water.
“I have never seen anything like this,” says 77-year-old Cindy. “It’s been so long. Tim took me on down the road to see the damage and it’s terrible.”
The Cramers are keeping warm with their anthracite coal-fueled stove.
You can hear the whine of generators everywhere, but they’re expensive to run.
“It’s about $25 a day just for gas,” says Tim.
Storm restoration crews are still working around the clock, including one based in Mt. Airy, N.C.
“One guy I talked to today said we’re the first people he’s seen in a week,” said worker Justin Cook.
Twenty-seven percent of Preston is still without power. County schools hope to re-open by next Tuesday.
“As soon as we get the lights on for these people and get the power back on, it just brings a smile to my face,” said Cook.
FEMA agents are on the ground now assessing the structural property damage from the storm, but it’s really about neighbor helping neighbor.
“You take care of one another,” says Tim. “You help each other out – that’s what you gotta do.”