Storm Related Car Repairs

Monday, December 4th 2006, 10:42 am
By: News On 6

The clean up after the storm might be at the body shop. Hundreds of damaged vehicles are going into repair for damage from wrecks on the ice. The Tulsa Fire Department reports an increase of 75 calls a day over what they normally get - many of them because of car wrecks.

Tow truck services were swamped, with long waits to get a wrecked car towed. Friday and Saturday were the worst days for accidents - and now the cost of it is being calculated.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says traffic is a lot better than it was over the weekend, but people are still crashing their cars on slick spots. Last week it was the tow truck drivers, who were swamped, this week it's the body and car repair shops.

The parking lot of Fox Collision on East 61st Street in Tulsa overflowed with wrecked cars from the weekend. Not all of them were just fender benders - plenty of them, had serious damage that will cost thousands of dollars to repair. Kevin Bolton with Fox Collision: "It was actually here this morning along with about 30 other cars when we came in this morning."

Fox has more than 140 cars with damage from the ice and snowstorm. Many of them were towed in with severe damage. "That one there, it's going to be, you can see the front end is swayed over, typical of front end hits, probably going to be $4,000 to $5,000." The overflow made a bad situation worse.

Last week's storm delayed parts deliveries and now all the cars from the storm are coming in. Some drivers were luckier - with less expensive damage - just to the suspension of their cars.

Chris Schew with Firestone: "lost it on the ice, hit the curb and bent the wheel." Most of the mechanical damage they're seeing here at Firestone is a problem with the wheels, the kind of damage you get when a car slides into the curb. "A lot of alignments, people sliding on ice into the curbs, bent wheels, bent front end parts." Those repairs can be pricey too - in the $400 and $500 range.

But it's usually more expensive when bodywork and painting is involved. At Fox, Kevin Bolton figures it will take a month and a half to clear out all the cars - and that's if there isn't another storm by then.

And the storm wasn't just hard on vehicles - it was hard on people too. EMSA reported a 20 percent increase in calls during the weekend - and on Sunday - double the normal volume of transports, many of them because of people falling on the ice.