Leeds to reimburse drivers surprised by towing fees

The city of Leeds is trying to make things right with drivers who had their cars towed.

Many drivers returned to where they abandoned cars during the storm, but their vehicles weren't there.{} The city had many cars towed from Scott City Hill, Parkway Drive, and Faye Street.

Mayor David Miller said those roads were the only route from the interstate to city shelters set up for stranded motorists.

"We had over 300 people that we were able to transport to safety because we did move the cars," Miller said.

"It was not something we wanted to do.{} It was something we had to do.{} There was no opportunity to move them to the side.

"There was no room there because there's a big ditch on one side and a steep hill on the other," the mayor said.

Miller said the city's priority over the past two days was providing shelter for stranded motorists.{} He is proud the city could provide shelter for hundreds of people in three city shelters.{} Two people were still at the Civic Center on Thursday afternoon, waiting for word that roads were clearer at their destinations.{} The city also made sure everyone had food.

The mayor said he sympathizes with the drivers who had their cars towed.{} He does not want them to think the city gave special treatment to people who abandoned vehicles on the Interstate or other roads.{} Miller wants to show compassion to those surprised their cars were moved.

"We've been accused of just kind of doing that and not caring about them.{} We certainly do care about those people and we're taking care of all the fees they have to pay," he said.

"With the help of state representative Dickie Drake and state senator Slade Blackwell--I'm having another meeting with them this afternoon, they're coming up with a way to get this fee taken care of."

The two Leeds impounds for the towed cars are Murray's Garage and Ryan Automotive.{} Miller said they will release the vehicles for free to anyone who hasn't claimed their car.{} Reimbursements are available to those who have.