Snow, ice keeps tow trucks busy in Portland metro

Tuesday and Wednesday remain problematic

Andrew Dymburt and KOIN 6 News Staff - PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- The freezing rain and snow that created difficult driving conditions is keeping area tow trucks busy. Despite repeated warnings from transportation officials, police and the media, drivers without chains, snow- or studded tires were forced to abandon their cars in the snow.

Northside Towing and Recovery, run by the married team of Jennifer and James Criswell, answered distress calls Monday night. They often work together on the holidays so their employees don't have to.

"Most people are just scared to drive in the ice, which is understandable. If they don't have chains or studded tires it's scary. Or they slide around and get stuck," he said.

On Christmas Eve, they were handling round-the-clock pickups, with some drivers waiting 6 to 8 hours after getting stuck in the sleet.

Jacob Anderson was more fortunate, as he only had to wait 30 minutes on Christmas night to get saved from the snow.

"Oh, it was crazy, man! Ice everywhere," Anderson told KOIN 6 News. "I was driving down I-5, saw cars, like, parked on the side of the road."

Abandoning your car isn't just an inconvenience for other drivers. It's dangerous. One car was left in the middle of a lane on West Burnside.

Every year, it seems, many drivers don't learn. When it's icy and snowy, cars that shouldn't be on the road get stuck -- or worse.

"If you go and wrekc on Germantown or Skyline you could lose your life," James said.

Northside Towing expects more calls on Tuesday. Even though the roads look clear, black ice is their main concern as the snow continues to melt.


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