Neighboring communities take the lead in aiding residents of Wrightwood trapped in snow

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Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Neighboring cities take the lead in aiding residents of Wrightwood
The communities of Phelan, Hesperia and Piñon Hills are going out of their way to help residents of neighboring Wrightwood who are trapped in by the multiple feet of snow they have received in the recent storms.

WRIGHTWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- As residents of the San Bernardino mountain community of Wrightwood continue to dig themselves out of the multiple feet of snow they received over the weekend, neighbors are going out of their way to help neighbors as a way to support each other and remain strong.

Jeremy Norman of the neighboring Hesperia has driven his backhoe all the way to Wrightwood to dig people out of the walls of snow.

Irene Norman said Jeremy Norman has helped at least 10 people so far, with more than 40 people on his waiting list. The benefactors, Irene Norman said, are mostly elderly people who need help digging out of the snow.

"When they started posting that they needed help, they were stuck," Irene Norman said. "He put himself to work. And if they need help and they can't afford anything, he does not charge them. It's donation based."

Even with the Normans' help, many Wrightwood residents are unable to drive out of their homes. But the few residents who can have gone out of their way to go to the grocery store and pick up enough food for their whole community.

Organized by the Curbside Community Church in neighboring Phelan, Wrightwood residents have answered the church's call on social media and delivered badly needed groceries to stranded fellow residents.

"There's a lot of people saying 'We can't get out," said Diane from Wrightwood. "'We have no food, we can't go anywhere, our car is buried.' Their cars are like all the way buried so yeah, I feel bad for them."

Another Wrightwood resident, Ray Maholchic, who was able to make it to the grocery store, said it wasn't easy getting his car out and street plowed to be able to travel to the neighboring city.

"Just, a lot of shoveling, you know, trying to keep up with it for the last 4 days," Maholchic said. "Snow plows finally came to do the street last night and finish it. Well, they didn't finish it but plowed the street last night so we can get out."

The California Department of Transportation is sending over plows to get Wrightwood residents out of the snow, but with more storms on the way, residents of neighboring communities are prepared to continue to help their friends in Wrightwood.

And, the kindness does not go unnoticed.

"In this area, a lot of people, like we know everybody here, so they do help out a lot," said Kara Leffler of Piñon Hills. "Our neighbors, it's a blessing."