Hundreds of people were able to begin looking for their car Saturday after Erie County made available a list and three locations were it had towed vehicles during the storm.
But some people may not be happy when they do find their vehicle. At Appletree Business Park on Union Road in Cheektowaga, one of the three locations private contractors paid by the county towed vehicles, there are cars with busted windows that are full of snow and others with missing bumpers.
Though you won’t have to pay for the towing cost, the county won’t be covering any of the damage.
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County Executive Mark Poloncarz said some vehicles were pushed to the side and others were sideswiped by heavy equipment, sustaining significant damage. Car owners with damage will need to work with their insurance companies for repairs.
And you may have trouble finding it. Poloncarz said the only information available is the make/model of the vehicle - not the owner or where the car is located in a particular lot. You may have to walk up and down the aisles to find your vehicle and provide proof - such as the keys to the car - that the vehicle is yours.
Poloncarz said he has heard that private companies may have dropped off cars at county lots. If that is the case, you may not find your car on the list and it may take a few days for the lots to clear out. He said he does not know for certain this is the case, but it is a possibility.
If your car was not towed by the county, then county officials will not know where it is. If it was towed by a contractor who was not working with Erie County, the county will not be reimbursing the towing cost, even if the company towed the vehicle off a county-owned road.
If the company was contracted to tow vehicle by a local municipality, there is a chance you will be on the hook for the towing cost on top of any damage your vehicle sustained.
Right now, the county is going to have to pay around $75,000 for all the tows. As of Friday night, Poloncarz estimated the storm has cost the county around $2 million.
You can find a complete list of vehicles and their locations at Erie.gov. You will need to bring your ID to retrieve your vehicle.