Washington County auto shops swamped after I-41 pileup

Sheriff responded to 300 traffic incidents Monday
Posted at 5:37 PM, Mar 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-14 19:27:39-04

Monday's snow storm contributed to many accidents on the roads in Washington County leaving the county busy, particularly after a pileup on I-41 involving 60 cars.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to 300 traffic incidents yesterday. And the snow events are putting pressure on local auto body shops.

Melanie Patenaude a manager at D&M Auto Body in Slinger said they received quite a few cars from yesterday's madness.

"For now they're just kind of sitting, when it started snowing, it was like dead quiet for a whole half of the day and as soon as it started calming down a little, that's when the phone started ringing and people started showing up with their cars," Patenaude said.

And drivers are currently waiting to figure out if their cars are drivable or junk.

"Sometimes it goes pretty quick and sometimes it can take a little time," she said.

But it all depends on when insurance companies figure everything out.

"It takes at least two to three days just to get all the insurance information figures out and from there we figure out if they're going to be repairable or not," Patenaude said.

They're expecting at least eight cars so far. Patenaude  said things like this take time even though they have between five to 10 cars now from Monday's accidents they could possibly receive many more over the next few weeks.

"I'm sure it's just going to grow and grow as the days go by. Most of the stuff we've been seeing so far isn't too bad. So it can be fixed but that's what we want to do is fix them," she said.

Part of I-41's southbound lanes will be closed Tuesday night at 7 p.m. to remove four tractor trailers from ditches.

They expect for the lanes to reopen at midnight.

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