WISE COUNTY, VA (WJHL) –It has been just over a week since winter weather crippled counties across Southwest Virginia.
One of the counties hardest hit was Wise, with more than $1M in damages reported so far.
Even with a disaster on their hands, volunteers are helping the Wise County community one shovel at a time.
On Sunday we found it takes a little elbow grease to chip away at the snow and ice left over from last weeks storm.
Even with the hard work, volunteers we rode with know it is for a reason, in this case that reason was an 83-year-old man stuck inside his home.
“This is the first year I haven’t been able to make it out,” said the Wise County resident.
The man didn’t want to show his face on camera, but tells us since the snow started to fall last weekend he has not been able to get out of his own driveway.
Just minutes after our conversation the volunteers were already finished, ready to give the driveway a test run.
“I can get out, I’m not cooped up in the house no more,” said the Wise County resident.
Before volunteers moved on to their next call we spoke to Lourdes Tiglao. She is with Team Rubicon, a veteran services organization, and has helped with disaster relief across the globe.
“This particular operation has that whole community feel that everyone is pulling together to get these people out,” said Tiglao.
She says seeing so many local people come out to help their own here in Wise has been inspiring.
Sunday she worked with three students from UVA-Wise.
Parker Robertson says the decision to volunteer was an easy one, knowing he has the potential to make a difference in his own backyard.
“Just blows your mind how this could happen and it happens so fast it was like three days of heavy snow and all this stuff happened. Shoveling the ground, pick it up and toss it, and maybe someone will have a better day because of it, you know,” said Robertson.
For volunteers there is a long road and list ahead of them, hundreds more who need help just shoveling out of their driveways.
It is a task Tiglao and her team are more than willing to take on.
Late Sunday afternoon the Virginia National Guard announced they are going back to routine operations.
Over the last week they mobilized more than 125 soldiers to help with snow recovery efforts.
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