This aerial view on March 1 shows the devastation caused by the roof collapse at Goodwin & Sons Market.
On March 3, Supervisor Dawn Rowe and County Fire Chief Dan Munsey visited with Mike Johnstone in front of Goodwin & Sons Market.
By Julianne Homokay
Special to The Alpine Mountaineer
On Wednesday, March 1, the roof of the 43,000-square foot Goodwin & Sons’ Market, Crestline’s only full-service grocery, began to cave in toward the back storage room under the weight of several feet of snow.
According to the market’s Facebook page, Vice President Mike Johnstone and two employees were in the store at the time. They evacuated the building, and then made calls to the fire department and building and safety officials. However, the weight of the snow took the whole roof down by mid-morning.
The collapse came one day after the company fought through the storm to re-stock its shelves, said Kaleb Goodwin, steward of finance and accounting, in an email to the San Bernardino Sun.
As Goodwin & Sons was the only supermarket serving Crestline, Valley of Enchantment and Cedarpines Park, its collapse has created an alarming dearth of resources. Plowing in the area is happening slowly, but many residents have yet to dig their cars out or are unable to get out of their neighborhoods. If they were able to, as of press time, the Caltrans website indicates that Highways 18, 189, 138 and 330 are all still closed with no indication as to when they might reopen.
At press time, Caltrans did not have a clear picture as to when these arteries might reopen. Eric Dionne, public and media affairs manager for District 8, stated via email, “We’re not going to know much more than what has been put out until later this afternoon [Monday, March 6],” but all the most current information will be available on social media outlets such as Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/caltrans8/), Instagram (caltrans8), the Caltrans Quickmap app and quickmap.ca.gov.
While the primary effect of the loss of Goodwin & Sons on the community is the lack of access to food and supplies, the loss is hitting the community emotionally as well. To quote a statement from the Goodwin family: “After a few tears were shed and a few moments to process the store that their father and grandfather built, they stood up, dusted off and started making calls to the insurance adjuster and contractor to get the ball rolling on the repairs.”
“Goodwin’s has been a nerve center for Crestline for forever,” said Cedarpines Park resident Gwen Meshorer. “We’ve lost our town center, the heart and soul of the town.”
In terms of the pop-up store that has been suggested to take over the former Oak Trunk space, Goodwin’s VP Mike Johnstone said, “We haven’t started that yet. We’re focusing on getting food out to people.” When asked if he has a timeline for the clean-up and rebuild of the flagship store, he replied, “I don’t at this point. We’re anticipating anywhere from eight months to a year.” That timeline will depend heavily on the ability to get equipment and materials up to the mountain.
“Food distribution and trying to get engineers up here – these two are my main focus right now,” added Johnstone. To quote Goodwin’s first press release after the collapse: “We WILL NOT let you down. We will work tirelessly to get back up and running even better than ever!”
Food distribution updates are posted daily on Goodwin & Sons’ Facebook page: www.facebook.com/GoodwinsMarket.
On Wednesday, March 1, Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency in San Bernardino County, which will enable disaster relief by making state agencies and aid available and is a step toward asking for federal help in clearing and repairing highways, according to NBC and ca.gov.
“The Governor has also activated the State Operations Center to bring state support to county-led emergency response efforts and coordinate mutual aid from neighboring jurisdictions, especially in San Bernardino County. Significant numbers of state personnel are on the ground supporting San Bernardino County, including from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol, working closely with the county-led Incident Command to rapidly deploy resources and address emergency management needs,” states the press release on ca.gov.
OES is also coordinating with Caltrans and the county to bring in more snowplows and road crews, engaging support personnel from Cal Fire and the California National Guard, contracting with private companies to clear roadways, coordinating with investor-owned utilities to restore power, and coordinating with local officials to maintain shelters in the county. San Bernardino County’s hotline for assistance is (909) 387-3911. For urgent medical issues, residents should still continue to call 911.