Sandy's wrath has W.Va. town in shut-down mode

(CBS News) ELKINS, W.Va. - Hurricane Sandy merged with cold air from the west to create blizzard conditions in the Appalachians. Roofs collapsed, highways were shut down, and there are four-foot snowdrifts in some places.

For a second day, Elkins sits paralyzed under a heavy blanket of snow. No power means most of the city is shut down. There's almost no food and no fuel.

"Blizzard hit us and I guess we weren't prepared for it," said Todd Wamsley. His gas station has gas, but without power, there's no way to pump it.

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"We're standing on top of gasoline," he said, "but we can't get it out of there. There's about 6,000 or 8,000 gallons there, but there's nothing we can do, we can't get it out."

Power lines sagged under the weight of wet, heavy snow threatening to snap. Roads are slushy and snow-covered, and only a few people ventured out.

Police Chief Rob White tried to keep up with requests for help. "I've got a lot of my officers who can't even get out here," he said. "Some of the roads are just not plowed and there are trees down. So we're having to have to work a lot of overtime to cover the shifts."

There are many challenges he faces, weather-wise: "Heavy snow, we got power lines down, trees down. We got vehicles stranded, so we got our work cut out for us today."

Residents faced them, too. Lori DiBacco needed to get something essential out of her car, buried under a foot of snow. She had to break into her car to get the scraper out.

DiBacco acknowledged she had never seen a storm like this before. "It's just wet and it keeps coming down," she said.

As residents Tuesday night head into their second day without power, there's an estimated 268,000 people who are without any power. The forecast says there is a 100 percent chance of more snow.

  • Anna Werner

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