ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Orchard Park Police had 171 abandoned vehicles to deal with after Thursday's snowstorm.
Police Chief Mark Pacholec said it's not necessary to leave a car if you're safe inside. "You don't have to abandon your car, if you're in a warm shelter and you have heat and gasoline, you're inconvenienced, but you're safe from the weather."
He said the abandoned cars created more problems. "These abandoned cars clogged our roads, Abbott road, northbound from Milestrip was a parking lot," said the Chief.
The cars left on roadways hampered state and county vehicles from getting to roads to clear away snow.
Chief Pacholec wanted to make sure drivers are reminded to have a 'go bag' and emergency supplies in vehicles during the winter. He was surprised to see women in vehicles wearing high heels, no boots and people with light jackets and no hats or gloves.
Area police departments usually have contracts with towing companies to haul vehicles off roads. Lake Erie Lenny of Lake Erie Towing said the storm reminded him of Snowvember. "Everybody was bottlenecking. Tractors were getting stuck, then cars, it was chaos."
Normally Orchard Police would ticket an abandoned car. It' a $25 fine, but due to the storm no one was ticketed, but drivers will have to pay for the tow which is $175.