ATLANTA -- Forget hurry up and wait. This is wait, then hurry up, Atlanta style.
If you abandoned a car on area interstates during the snow storm, you had until 9pm Thursday night to pick it up, or risk having to drive to the tow lot to get it.
MORE | Who's charging and who's not for abandoned car towing
The good news, Governor Nathan Deal says you won't have to pay the tab, if the vehicle was towed by the state.
The State Patrol says it's only going to move cars deemed a safety hazard, all other vehicles will be left until Sunday for the owner to pick up.
But GEMA says it has to get ready for the Friday morning commute.
"Now they're on the shoulder, the grassy median, the sidewalls,they're pushed out of the way but they're blocking those critical emergency lanes tomorrow metro Atlanta we hope will be back open for business," said Crystal Paulk-Buchanan, a spokesperson for GEMA.
On Thursday morning there were 2,029 abandoned cars on metro Atlanta interstates and GA 400. By nightfall, most were gone.
GDOT teamed up with GEMA, the National Guard and state troopers to help shuttle drivers back to their cars. They offered drivers some gas, jumped batteries, even gave a few cars a push, to help drivers get home.
"It was very slick and I'm not able to back out or go forward. Did you try this morning at all? I did, I did. Trust me, it's there," said Ron Aribol. He came to the Westlake MARTA station meeting point for help after trying to retrieve his car, stuck on I-20, himself.
Dulcy Longino couldn't even think about getting back in her car, which she abandoned 16 hours into her effort to get home. She sent her son with a National Guardsman to find it and was grateful for the help.
"I give them an A in spite of all the F's, this is an A and I thank them," she said, waiting for them to return.
More Winter Storm Coverage:
- Governor takes the blame and calls for internal review of what went wrong during snow storm gridlock
- Will you have to pay if your abandoned car was towed?
- Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed faces national criticism for winter storm plan
- Georgia agencies to help people return to abandoned vehicles
- Fix it! Atlanta writer says we are all to blame for gridlock.
- School and business closings and delays
Winter Storm Galleries:
- Winter Storm Good Samaritans
- UPLOAD pictures of your kids and pets in the snow
- UPLOAD pictures of snowmen you made
- Atlanta's winter weather traffic nightmare