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Shovels still flying

By Staff | Dec 25, 2009

John Reed of Kearneysville shovels snow from the walkway infront of Four Seasons Books on Tuesday morning. Photo by Michael Theis/Chronicle

Last weekend, the biggest blizzard to hit Shepherdstown in at least six years dumped more than 20 inches of snow in our area in a little over 24 hours.

The storm effectively shut down local roads, with all but the hardiest of vehicles unable to safely navigate the roadways. According to Shepherdston Police Chief Tim Johnson, however, there were no major snow-related accidents in Shepherdstown during the storm.

The blizzard also wreaked havoc on local retailers. According to many local retailers, the Saturday before Christmas is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the entire year, but the heavy snowfall forced most German Street business to operate on abbreviated schedules or close up entirely. Local toy store One Two Kangaroo was one such business which closed shop on Saturday during the storm. Hannah Lloyd, a cashier who’s worked for One Two Kangaroo for over two years, says that the blizzard continued to affect business three days after the snowstorm.

“It’s not great for business,” said Lloyd by phone on Tuesday. “Staying open on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, hasn’t made up the difference. We just hope that Christmas Eve shopping will make up for it.”

Not all business closed down for the snow. The Shepherdstown Sweet Shop, a local bakery, and Sky’s The Limit, a local retailer, The Lost Dog Coffee Shop, and The Blue Moon Cafe were among some of the Shepherdstown businesses which remained open. But many were operating with only skeleton crews. Those few businesses which managed to open during the storm all told a story with a common element: local employees willing and able to walk to work.

“Pam and Rusty Berry [owners of the Sweet Shop], and our wonderful front-end sales people who live in town were able to open the shop,” reports Teresa McBee, a manager at the Sweet Shop. “Our business was down, we weren’t expecting that the weekend before Christmas, but we served our regulars and even some hardy visitors.”

In an interview on Monday, Mayor Jim Auxer said that Shepherdstown’s Public Works Department worked late Satuday night to try and clear as many parking spots on German Street as possible for Sunday shopping. Crews were still working to clear large piles of snow on downtown German Street as late as Tuesday morning.

Shepherdstown brought in extra help to deal with the snow, hiring Hedgesville based Custom Contracting to help remove the snowfall.

With more wintry precipitation expected this weekend, Shepherdstown officials are asking the public for their patience and assistance in keeping the sidewalks clear as required by Shepherdstown law.