(WBIR-Knoxville) Despite seeing the most snow accumulation in 18 years, tow truck companies in Knoxville said their drivers were slower than when then last winter storm hit in late January.
Ice was the big concern when the system swept through January 28th, leaving wrecking crews scrambling for days to haul off stranded vehicles. But with over 5 inches of snow reported across Knox County, companies said they were busy but not as slammed as they were two weeks ago.
"Most of it is just people sliding off in the ditch," said Mike Dabney, with Cedar Bluff Towing. "Like this one here, they slid in this morning around 5:30 a.m., left it, got the keys to us, and told us to get it when we could."
Dabney, who worked from 7 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday evening, only taking a four-hour break to nap, said last time even the experts had trouble.
"It was just real slick. Once it started laying on the roads it was there; it just kept piling up and the trucks just didn't want to go," said Dabney.
The combination of road crews pre-treating the interstates and streets and the sun melting the snow likely have played a factor.
Cedar Bluff Towing said by mid- afternoon Thursday, crews only towed about 70 cars, trucks, and SUVs compared to about 150 in the same time frame with the last winter storm.
"There were some people out sightseeing, and some were coming home from work and got stuck out, but for the most part, most people stayed home," said Dabney.
Several towing companies reported similar numbers. Dispatchers at Fountain City Wrecker Service Incorporated said crews towed about 150 cars, but two weeks ago they took over 300 calls. At Lowe's Garage and Towing Company, dispatchers said they think people were more prepared since crews only towed about a dozen vehicles compared to 100.
"We were not as busy as we expected to be," said Gib Galyon, with Lowe's Garage and Towing Company.
KPD said following the last winter storm, officers responded to nearly 150 property damage crashes and 25 wrecks with injuries. This time, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. officers only responded to about two dozen crashes and two injury crashes.