Image: Jeremy Cote, an employee at Goodwin & Sons Market, and Bridgett Goodwin, one of the owners, carry out boxes after the roof caved in at the business, in Crestline, Calif., March 9, 2023. (Jenna Schoenefeld/The New York Times)

By: Tim Arango/The New York Times

CRESTLINE, Calif. — Goodwin & Sons Market, with its old-fashioned soda counter and sweet shop, has been a hub of civic life in Crestline, high in the San Bernardino Mountains, for nearly eight decades.

Now it’s starting over.

When a devastating storm swept through the region northeast of Los Angeles, dropping nearly 10 feet of snow, the roof of the market caved in one snowy night, leaving the Goodwins scrambling to save the family business.

“We’ve got to start rebuilding,” Bridgett Goodwin said this week as she cleared out the office to get ready for bulldozers to raze the property. “We’re the only market in town.”

Snowstorms are a fact of life here. During winters in childhood, Goodwin would snowshoe to the store with her family to make sure marooned residents could get food.

“But never anything like this,” she said, describing the moment the building collapsed as being like an avalanche. “The whole roof went poof. My brother was blown a hundred feet.”

As she worked, she thought of the rest of the community, and the many people who might still be trapped in their homes. During the storm, she said, her nephew, a firefighter in nearby Lake Arrowhead, was constantly checking on older residents, making sure they had enough food and delivering medications to them. When a neighbor, a man in his 80s who had health problems, died, the body was kept in the garage for days to stay cool.

“You’re going to hear more stories like that,” she said.

All along Lake Drive in the center of Crestline, there was a beehive of activity this week. Crews of firefighters in yellow pants shoveled snow from the roof of the post office. Traffic moved slowly, confined by high walls of snow on each side of the street. A few weary residents trickled into the Stockade Grub & Whiskey, open in the town since 1954, for beers or bison burgers.

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