Sr. Public Relations Specialist, MD
O: (410) 616-1900 (ext. 4361153)
C: (443) 244-7253
TOWSON, MD (September 7, 2017) – With Hurricane Irma continuing its path through the Caribbean, Houston is still reeling from the effects of Harvey. AAA Mid-Atlantic is deploying two roadside assistance crews and tow trucks from Maryland to the hurricane-affected Texas Gulf coast to assist flood victims who are being preyed upon by rouge towing operators, and to help with recovery and removal of flood-damaged vehicles in the area, where it is estimated up to one million vehicles were submerged and spoiled by Hurricane Harvey’s catastrophic floodwaters. It is twice the number of vehicles despoiled by Hurricane Katrina and destroyed by Superstorm Sandy combined.
Riding to the rescue, the crews from the AAA-Mid Atlantic Baltimore and Landover Fleet will now add to a total of 20 club drivers and 10 tow trucks assisting AAA colleagues in Texas in any way possible, explains AAA Mid-Atlantic Roadside Assistance Operations. Additional drivers and trucks are also on standby for deployment. The trucks that left this morning from Maryland will also transport much needed pallets of bottled water.
“The towing and cleanup of hundreds of thousands of flooded or inoperable vehicles will take a Herculean effort, and nothing short of it,” said Edward Hickey, Baltimore Manager, Club Fleet Operations, AAA Mid-Atlantic. “We are stepping in and stepping up to help Harvey’s victims and to assist AAA Texas, which needs additional towing resources and roadside rescue expertise given the magnitude of the crisis on the ground.”
Reportedly, “unscrupulous wreckers have already ‘kidnapped’ some vehicles,” charging vehicle owners “as much as $4,000 to $5,000 to get them back.” A veritable army or armada of tow trucks from many reputable towers across the country are descending upon Texas to tow tens of thousands of vehicles damaged by the cataclysmic flooding. AAA associates are packing trucks with much-needed bottled water for victims.
“AAA is pulling together to support Hurricane Harvey victims and, in particular, the relief efforts of our sister AAA club in Texas,” said Bernie Koch, CEO of AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Our associates are making generous financial donations to send tow trucks to Texas loaded with pallets of water and supplies.”
AAA rescued 32 million drivers in 2015, and 7 million drivers this summer. A total of three AAA tow trucks and six members of AAA Mid-Atlantic’s elite roadside assistance crews are departed the area for Houston bright and early Thursday morning. Locally, two crews will leave from Maryland, as will another crew from Philadelphia. Once in Texas, AAA roadside assistance rescuers will assist in removing abandoned and inoperable flood-ravaged vehicles. Estimates vary on the number of vehicles that were destroyed in the unprecedented flooding along the Texas Gulf Coast as a result of Hurricane Harvey. These estimates range from 500,000 flooded-out vehicles, to as many as one million cars.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than 937,000 members in Maryland. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.