PAX, W.Va. - Donnie Williams and four other men stood in 18 inches of snow, wrestling with a tree trunk 18 inches thick.
That tree, felled by the snow and winds that tore through Appalachia Monday night and Tuesday morning when superstorm Sandy met land, was across a power line and into the road, cutting off residents of this dead-end road in the small Fayette County town of Pax.
The five men, neighbors, had been at it with chainsaws for hours Tuesday morning and had just started to see progress around 11 a.m.
Someone murmured something about needing to complain to the fire department about the tree.
"I just need to get out of this hollow," Williams said.
Williams wanted to find a place with electricity for himself, his wife and their two kids to spend the night.
"You can't have little ones in a house without power," he said.
The night before, when Williams left work at 2 a.m. and came home to find the road impassable, he had parked at the interstate and walked the two miles home.
"You couldn't see it, but you could hear it - there were trees coming down left and right," he said. "It was weird, I'll tell you that."
In Fayetteville, which saw at least 15 inches of snow, every business appeared to be closed except the Vandalian restaurant, which was serving a full menu despite the lack of heat in the dining room.
It will stay that way despite the power outage.
A generator is keeping the refrigerated food from spoiling.
"I've got to," owner Porter Jarrard said. "I have thousands and thousands of dollars tied up in that fridge."
He planned to camp out in the restaurant to keep the generator running and to guard against theft. He said he would sleep on the dining room floor.