ATLANTA (WXIA) -- Everyone is picking up the pieces and their cars. Tow yards were hopping on Friday with motorists looking to pick up abandoned cars during the storm but there is some confusion about who's picking up the tab.

One of the state's largest tow contractors, A Tow, pulled nearly 500 vehicles from Georgia's highways over the course of the storm and its aftermath. Now, comes the tricky part - just who will pay for the towing. That has some tempers flaring.

Over the last few days, more than 2,000 abandoned vehicles have been pulled from Metro Atlanta's highways and hundreds more have been hauled off of the city's streets.

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"It should be free," said motorist Brigid Dickson.

Dickson had to leave her Volkswagen Beetle behind on the Downtown Connector near Langford Parkway. Many municipalities and the state are picking up the tab and forgiving fees, but not for the Dicksons. Her vehicle was towed after the deadline.

She and her husband Mike arefacing a $135 towing charge.

11Alive's Ross McLaughlin called the Georgia State Patrol.

"They're saying they had no control over when that was towed," McLaughlin said.

Didn't matter. The state expected everyone to at least attempt to pick up their abandoned cars before 9 pm Thursday.
The Dicksons left angry, but A Tow owner Page Porter says that's not been the case for everyone.

"So when they find it here, they're pleased to see it hasn't been vandalized, and that it has been retrieved here and kept in a safe place," said Porter.

Count Ashley Robinson, who had to abandon her vehicle in Midtown among the happy motorists.

"I don't mind paying as long as I can get the car back at this point and they didn't charge me two days for storage fees, so that's fine," she said.

She paid the fee. A Tow says their notes showed it was picked up before the storm. As she walked to her Honda Accord, she discovered a ticket for $25 - but she was just eager to be on her way.

The state says it will reimburse people like the Dicksons. They will have to go to the Georgia State Patrol's website with the necessary info to file a claim.

There will undoubtedly be some confusion and arguments over tow fees, but we are being told by most jurisdictions that if an abandoned tow was storm-related, there will be some relief. You can call 511 to find out where your vehicle may be.


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