The winter weather has been keeping local towing businesses busy, with vehicles getting stuck in the deep snow pack on remote roads in Deschutes County and the Ochocos. At least 17 motorists have gotten stuck in just this month alone, and those numbers only account for those who needed Search and Rescue (SAR) teams to get them out.
SAR teams routinely reach out to local towing businesses for assistance in recovering vehicles, such as Bend Towing & Recovery.
“Typically when we come out here, the roads are icy, snowy, and a little bit tricky,” owner of Bend Towing & Recovery Mike Leech said.
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With recent weather, the company has been busier than usual, with an overall uptick in tows this year compared to last.
“This year has been a bit busier because our first snow came around the first week of November, and we’ve had several storms since then,” Leech said. “The trails get covered very quickly, and freeze over night, and it’s difficult to get in and out.”
While Search and Rescue teams focus on getting the people out, companies like Leech’s get to work on recovering the vehicles.
“From the time that you call, it will take us about 60 minutes to get out here,” Leech said. “The cost of recoveries to get vehicles out of the snow can run anywhere from $500 to $700. If you see anything like this deep snow, and you don’t think your vehicle is suited, just stop and back on out.”
Bend Towing & Recovery says to always bring essentials before off-roading or traveling to remote areas, such as snacks and bottled water, warm clothing and blankets, and always make sure you have cell service.