Tow truck companies struggle to keep up with hundreds of calls

COLUMBIA, Mo. - This afternoon, five separate towing companies agreed that they are behind on calls and have long waiting periods. Tiger Towing served more than 40 calls by mid-afternoon on Saturday with wait times of up to two to three hours.

Most towing companies received frequent calls from Route K, Route B and Highway 63. In Columbia, drivers took to the main roads to navigate the city. However, residential and more rural roads posed the most danger.

Despite the ice, Jermon Lambert still traveled to work at JT's Cutz in Columbia. Other employees had to car-pool in.

"I tried to drive out, started slipping all over the roads. A drive that normally takes me 15 minutes took me about 45 minutes to an hour," Lambert said. "We have responsibilities of our own. Bills don't stop because the weather gets a little inclement, so we think it's important to the community knowing that a little weather doesn't slow us down."

It slowed down hundreds of drivers last night and those numbers only increased today. In fact, David DeBates with Tiger Towing said he received more calls today compared to yesterday.

"I think today is busier. People kind of just misjudge, you know, what the roads are like, especially the side roads," DeBates said.

The dispatcher for Tiger Towing could not come in because of weather, forcing efforts to be completely mobile. He urged residents to stay off the roads unless completely necessary. Response times are long, taking every tow takes half hour depending on the situation.

"You kind of feel helpless to a point when, you know, there are so many people that need help," DeBates said. "Yet, there's only so many tow trucks in town and so many officers and firefighters than can help to cover all of these people."

DeBates anticipates more calls throughout tomorrow. With more winter weather on the way, more calls will only add on to what towing companies already have waiting from yesterday and today.

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