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Northern Towers Amp Up Services as Calls Pour in Over Snowy Weekend

Dec 14th, 2010 | By | Category: National News

Towers in the northern states are experiencing heavy call volumes due to the snowstorms plowing through the areas, according to news reports.

In the wake of the major snowstorm that hit Minnesota this past weekend, the city of Minneapolis announced Sunday, Dec. 12, that all towing fees would be waived, a report states. Minneapolis’ mayor said the money to pay for the towing would come from either the parking or the emergency snow fund, with the public works director making the decision.

About 200 cars were towed overnight Saturday, Dec. 11, in the city, the first night of a declared snow emergency. But with an average of 500 to 700 cars needing to be towed, many vehicles remained on the roads overnight as towers struggled to get around in the bad weather themselves.

But although the storm moved out of Minnesota on Sunday morning, dangerous wind chills remained in place. The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory for much of the state, including the Twin Cities and Duluth. A blizzard warning also remained in effect for southeastern Minnesota, a report states.

Many Minnesotans were forced to stay indoors because of snow-clogged streets and no public transportation, with snow totals reaching 20 inches in some cities. Saturday’s snowstorm made it the 8th largest snowfall on record in the Twin Cities, the biggest storm since 1991, according to a report.

Since midnight Friday, Dec. 10, the Minnesota State Patrol reported 169 crashes, with 19 including injuries. More than 800 vehicles were reported off the road.

Interstate 90 from Albert Lea to South Dakota, after being closed since 11 a.m. Saturday Dec. 11, due to low visibility, was reopened Sunday. Sixty-four m.p.h winds were recorded at Rushmore, according to a report.

In Knoxville, Tenn., tow truck drivers were going nonstop as wreck after wreck was called in over the past weekend, many drivers hitting icy patches, guardrails and ditches. Many law enforcement agencies in the area said that they may not make it out to help if there weren’t injuries, and advised drivers to exchange information, a report states.

In Rochester the weekend was just as busy, with tow truck drivers called to aid everything from snowplows to semis, according to a report. One company received 200 to 300 calls during the weekend, with seven trucks out running. Another said they were about three-and-a-half hours behind at one point due to the heavy call volume, a report states.