Most of Alabama is still recovering from the winter storm that hammered the entire state. Many people were stranded on the Interstate overnight, and many people were stuck in areas around Leeds Alabama. For the past 36 hours, Interstate 20 around Leeds has been stuck with numerous 18-wheelers and cars blocking the road. Things are so bad, some drivers have actually driven the wrong way down the Interstate and roadways to go around this mess.
That scene above is US 78 in Leeds near Bass Pro Shops. As you can see, everything was iced over, and you were not going up that long hill in that ice and snow. Every city in Alabama is dealing with cars that were abandoned because people were stuck and could not drive. Now in most situations, cities and the state will not tow cars that are on the side of the road. And for cars blocking the road, most cities are towing them to the nearest parking lot, without charging. But Leeds chose to do something different, and it has people very angry!
Leeds has allowed private tow companies to tow many vehicles left on the road to private tow yards. The difference, these two companies are charging $175 or more for people who are suffering in this life-threatening situation. Who cares if you had to spend all night in your car, business, or shelter. If your car was on a Leeds road, the tow companies see greedy dollar signs in their eyes. In most cities, tow companies are only towing cars that are blocking the road to the nearest parking lot, without charge. Why can’t Leeds do this?
In most areas, people will have several days to retrieve their cars on the side of the road before they will have to be towed. In Leeds, your car was probably towed and you will be charged. And let’s throw in the fact that some people have commented on other websites that the Leeds PD were threatening to arrest people who were trying to move their cars out-of-the-way. And really Leeds mayor, people are not going to take two to three weeks to get back to their cars.
People stranded on Interstate 20 complained that the Leeds PD never helped anyone stranded. And hundreds of people had to literally walk off the Interstate in the cold and snow to find help. Once people were on US 78, is only when the Leeds PD helped them. What happened to common sense? Leeds PD, you could go on I-20 and make sure people were not freezing to death stuck on the Interstate. The state was under a state of emergency, which means normal rules are suspended. The city could have sent a bus like Hoover and Homewood did and go down the stranded Interstate to pick up people who needed rescue. Instead, a couple hundred people had to walk to the Leeds exit.
And tonight, the State of Alabama is going to reimburse the cost of towing the cars off the roadway. So no one is now having to pay those tow fees. But after Leeds did nothing to help people in the worst traffic choke point in Alabama, this smells like a cover-up. Leeds mayor David Miller and the city staff should be held accountable. The city staff and police could have done a lot more to help people who were having trouble, instead of wanting tow companies to charge people who left their cars behind to stay warm. But don’t worry, as soon as everything gets back to normal, you will see the police along the Interstate wanting to write tickets.
I am issuing a boycott to the City of Leeds. I know small business owners are already worried about people who will avoid Leeds because of a corrupt mayor and city staff. But the people of Leeds voted for them, and in the next election cycle, vote the current staff out! Many cities across Alabama helped out people who needed help and were struggling, apparently the City of Leeds did not do enough!
Categories: Local Scenes Stuff