BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Local wrecking companies are having the busiest weekend in decades after freezing bridges and roadways led to dozens of crashes across South Mississippi Friday night.
"Yesterday [Friday] was an event we hadn't seen in the towing business in about 25 years. When I started getting calls, you know, 'I need help. I need help.' I need more trucks to send and I didn't have more trucks to send. About 6 o'clock I guess is when I realized it was bad," said Vice President of All American Towing Incorporated Kent Wood.
Authorities and tow companies across the coast responded to multiple car wrecks, vehicles that flipped over, or lost control on icy bridges during Friday's cold weather event. All American Towing Inc. responded to 25 separate wrecks and towed in 36 vehicles on a day they typically tow in less than 10.
Owner Kenneth Wood says he's owned his towing company for nearly four decades and says he remembers only one similar occurrence on the coast in the early 1980s.
"At that time we had a couple wreckers that we couldn't get started because it was so cold," said Kenneth Wood.
And though the Woods were able to get a few extra people in to help answer all the calls they were getting, they say they still ran into some issues due to the weather.
"Your gloves and stuff sticks to the tools that you're trying to work with. And as far as the ice on the bridges, that was a challenge because we were having to worry about not wrecking our own trucks going to a wreck," said Kenneth Wood.
Wood says half of the vehicles they towed in on Friday were totaled. The others were partially damaged and were later picked up by their owners.
Kent Wood says one of their tow truck drivers responded to a wrecked vehicle that was carrying a baby kangaroo, porcupine and hedgehog.