Cities tow hundreds of disabled cars after storm

13News Now Jemie Lee looks at how many vehicles have been towed in the area following Hurricane Matthew.

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- At the height of this weekend's flooding, hundreds of drivers had to abandon stalled cars.

Now that the water is going down, city crews have started clearing the roads and towing away abandoned cars that are obstructing traffic.

And it's quite a lot of cars: more than 100 just in the City of Norfolk alone.

"It got ruined,"  says Donald Glover, whose SUV is just one of hundreds of vehicles flooded out because of Hurricane Matthew. "She just hit the water, [and] it was invisible."

His wife was driving Saturday night with her son and his friends in the backseat. She drove onto the Brambleton Avenue underpass in Norfolk... and then all of the sudden, water started rushing in.

Thankfully, a Good Samaritan saw them in trouble and ran over to help.

"He threw them a lifeline and he helped pull them all out," Glover said.

His SUV is among 110 vehicles towed away by the City of Norfolk.

"I think there’s more cars here this time than from [2011 Hurricane] Irene," Towing Operations Manager Larry Keefe said.

In Norfolk, citizens should contact the City of Norfolk Division of Towing and Recovery at 757-441-1062. The cars are located at 1188 Lance Road.

Meanwhile over in Virginia Beach, 60 cars were towed Monday night. The City is responsible for only towing away cars that obstruct traffic. Owners are responsible for cars left in the median or on the side of the road.

The City of Hampton says 27 cars have been towed. People need to go to police headquarters with proof of ownership in order to get a tow release slip.

Portsmouth took a different strategy and did not impound any cars. Instead, vehicles that were obstructing traffic were moved to the side of the road or a nearby parking lot.

The Suffolk Police Department had 13 cars towed. Car owners can call 757-514-7915 to find out which tow company towed the vehicle. 

Newport News did not have a big problem with abandoned cars. A spokesperson says at least one car was towed because of the storm after it was found in a ditch. It turns out that car was a stolen vehicle. 

Chesapeake police towed 84 vehicles total. Officials say poice tried to be liberal on their enforcement, when cars became stranded or inoperable.

So far, only 10 percent of all the cars that were towed away in Norfolk have been picked up by their owners. Officials are urging people to recover their vehicles, because the bill adds up each day.

Keefe says that in Norfolk for the first 24 hours, vehicles are charged just the towing fee of $135. Then after the first 24 hours, you will be assessed a $30 storage fee, and if it stays for 72 hours, there will be a one-time administration fee of $75.


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