Rockslide crushes West Virginia custom motorcycle shop

Publish Date: 
Feb 20, 2014

ST. ALBANS, W.Va. - It’s hard enough to start a business without coming to work one morning to find it under tons of rock. That’s what happened Feb. 19 when Morganne and Chad Parsons got to the custom shop they opened seven months ago.

Their shop, Pins 'N Rods, was nearly destroyed around 9 a.m. Wednesday when a massive rockslide came through the back of the building, pushing several motorcycles right through the front door.

“We're starting over again. We just opened this shop seven months ago and we're gonna be starting at square one,” Morganne Parsons told WSAZ.

Chad Parsons started the shop after a bad motorcycle accident two years ago left him unable to keep his job. "I've got pins and rods in my arms and steel in my jaw," he said. "It just hit me and made sense that would be the name."

Amid the devastation, his first concern is still rebuilding and restoring customer bikes. But that will have to wait until the cleanup is done, and the shop will need a new home because the building was condemned after the slide, which damaged dozens of bikes and several antique cars.

“It's hard to see it all damaged,” Parsons said. “I feel like a lot of his hard work and everything is crushed, literally.”

The Parsons say they plan to rebuild their business. The building housed two other businesses that were not as heavily damaged. A former tenant who moved his business a few doors away was sympathetic.

Wes Anderson’s Art of Tint also used to be in the building, but he said he couldn't compete with Mother Nature.

“In '07 we were flooded 14 times just from the natural rain water coming off the hillside,” Anderson said. “We always knew that maybe one day that hillside would fall in, but we never thought it would actually crash the whole building.”

Posted by Holly Wagner