Towing Fees Another Burden On Houston Flood Victims

Hundreds of abandoned cars have been towed in Houston since the historic flood began a week ago.

street and car flooding on 288
Cars abandoned 288 near Binz Street on Monday, April 18, 2016.

Regina Wright lives at the Arbor Court apartment complex in Greenspoint.

She said last Monday morning, her father-in-law pounded on her and her husband’s bedroom door.

“‘Hey, hey, it’s flooding again, move the cars.’ We had to drive the cars through the water and trying to get to safety,” Wright said. “One of the cars we had to park on the property of Arbor Court in the grass. The other vehicle, which is a truck, we had to park on Hardy Toll Road.”

The water didn’t get to the truck, but a wrecker did, and Wright is now stuck with the towing fee. She said she isn’t the only one.

“We have a lot of people stranded,” Wright said. “They’re having to pay $245 just to go get their vehicle, and we’ve lost everything. Some don’t even have IDs to even go to show to say, hey, this is my car.”

The Houston Police Department said as of Friday, SafeClear wreckers have towed 562 abandoned vehicles since the beginning of the flood.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said there’s not much the city can do to relieve flood victims whose cars got towed.

“No-one is taken advantage of. I don’t want that to happen,” he said. “But these are private companies, private businesses. But, you know, we’ll certainly take a look at it.”

Turner is calling on towing companies to consider the circumstances of those who lost everything in the flood and didn’t have a choice in where to put their cars.

If your car was towed in Houston, you can go to to locate it.

You will have to have your driver’s license to prove you’re the owner when you pick it up.

The standard tow rate for abandoned cars is $155.50, but storage fees apply after the first 48 hours.


Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters and the Houston Press Club. Florian is a native of Germany. His studies...

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