FERNDALE, Wash. - Businesses in Ferndale had to operate on limited staff or were forced to shut down when employees couldn't get to work due to snowy roads Tuesday.
"We’ve been scraping sidewalks, and the neighbor brought his tractor from across the street, and he’s been scraping sidewalks, so it’s been great," said Mark Schintaffer, owner of District Brewing.
At the brewery, it felt a lot like Christmas both inside—where Mark had set up a Santa station and Christmas tree—and outside the building, where snow blanketed the patio.
"We get snow once or twice a year, and a couple inches usually or less, so the amount and the fact that it stuck around more than 12 hours is unique," said Schintaffer.
He says because the large amount of snow that fell Tuesday is unusual for Ferndale, many there were caught by surprise.
FOX 13 News spotted several businesses with darkened storefronts after employees couldn't make it in due to weather conditions.
Schintaffer says District Brewing was fortunate enough to have the staff to stay open for Trivia Night Tuesday.
"It’s crazy. A lot of it came and came quickly, so everyone is having struggles to get around. But, we are finding most of our employees are saying, ‘We can make it,’ so we are going to open up," said Schintaffer. "So, if someone can walk down or can make it down here safely, we’ll be here pouring beer and making people smile."
Across the street at Main Street Bar & Grill, employee Gene Sanborn was helping to keep the doors open by doing double duty.
"We are doing construction work today, but since I’m a cook, too, the boss said ‘Just open it;’ and they were really thankful they had a place to come that was open," said Sanborn.
He says he also struggled on his commute, even though he only lives about six blocks away.
"I had to plow through some drifts to get here. I got stuck a couple of times, but I made it," said Sanborn.
He says the highest drifts that he's seen are around three feet, but when the plow comes through, they can double in size.
"The snow is really dry, so the snow drifts get really high in some spots. It’s a challenge for everyone to get around," said Sanborn.
Schintaffer estimates that near his business, at least seven to eight inches had fallen by Tuesday afternoon. Meantime, further north in Blaine, police reported they had received upwards of 14 inches or more.