TruckingIndustry.news

Truck Drivers Busy Back at Work As Atlanta Thaws

by Jana Ritter - Published: 1/31/2014

As the highways Atlanta are finally thawing out, big rigs get back on the road to make up for lost time and tow truck driver face an epic clean-up job.

Busy road

The freezing weather paralyzed cities across the entire South and led to more than 5,000 flight cancellations and delays, officials say. The Georgia State Patrol reported more than 1,460 traffic accidents between Tuesday morning and Wednesday night, with more than 175 injuries. Thousands of children had to stay overnight at schools, or even in school buses, on Tuesday night.

The freezing weather paralyzed cities across the entire South and led to more than 5,000 flight cancellations and delays, officials say. The Georgia State Patrol reported more than 1,460 traffic accidents between Tuesday morning and Wednesday night, with more than 175 injuries. Thousands of children had to stay overnight at schools, or even in school buses, on Tuesday night.

With thousands of abandoned vehicles are littering major roads and interstates, Huntsville tow truck operator W.D. Strong says there simply isn’t an easy option available.

“You work from the outside in,” said Strong, the head owner of Reliable Towing. “You move over the ones you need to move to get to where you got to go to.”

Strong said tow operators from across the Southeast are pouring into both Birmingham and Atlanta, where many major roads are still in a state of virtual paralysis. The massive job of unclogging the roads is still in the early stages, with many motorists who were spooked by the snowfall and subsequent traffic nightmare yet to return to their vehicles. Authorities started authorizing mandatory towing in both cities Thursday morning, forcing competitors to cooperate.

“Most of the time when we’re out there like that the majority of the tow companies work together,” said Strong. “It’s one of those deals where we just put our heads together and go in and decide which one gets which.”

Meanwhile, thousands of tractor-trailers were stuck in traffic along with the massive number of drivers getting back on the road, Truckers CBS Atlanta spoke with said state and local officials should have done a better job of clearing the roads.

"They should've done more," said Ashley Williams, a driver who stuck on the road for more than a day. "They should've prepared way hours, way hours before."

"It was unbelievable. I was really mad. I couldn't believe they didn't prepare earlier," said Tony Woods, a driver who sat in traffic for six hours.