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    Posted May 26, 2013 by
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Massive tornado hits Oklahoma

    gtc309 and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Tornado pummels Moore, Oklahoma

    Oklahoma Threatens to Impound Out of State Towers


    Oklahoma calls for help yet when towers arrive the highway patrol and the Oklahoma Towers Association appear more interested in protecting their financial interests than helping the victims of the tornado. Out of state towers have come in to help with the storm relief efforts, contracted by insurance companies and salvage auto auctions. The towers have put their home lives on hold to help the people in the state of Oklahoma. However after they have spent thousands of dollars to travel to Oklahoma as well as stay in local hotels, spending money on fuel, food, supplies all in Oklahoma they are treated as the unwanted stepchild.


    Contrast this with the victims and local towers of Hurricane Sandy which which were grateful to out of state towers that came to help. What’s wrong with the heartland of America where it is thought of as this friendly small town atmosphere? Help has arrived for the victims; yet the Highway Patrol and Tow Association want to treat people as if they are some type of criminal, by towing and impounding out of state towers equipment and threatening to arrest the drivers. How dare they do such atrocious acts when people come to help out of the kindness of their hearts. Yes the towers do get paid by the insurance companies, they also spend that pay locally in Oklahoma helping to create an economic gain from the storm. Many towers also volunteer help to people that need a hand. At Hurricane Sandy I helped people move vehicles for free that were not one of my insurance tows. All of us have to make a living but we also are willing to help our fellow citizens in time of need. Shame on the Oklahoma Tow Association and Highway Patrol for being more interested in the financial gain of local towers than truly helping the victims of the storm.


    The Governor of the State made the right call when she released her executive order to allow out of state equipment to operate in Oklahoma for the storm relief. However the Tow Association and Highway Patrol want to play on her words when they say she did not specifically mention an exemption for tow companies. Oklahoma, your Highway Patrol and Tow Association now has scarred the image of what was thought to be a friendly place. If we look back to the Alfred P. Murrah bombing it appears there was acceptance of outside help without threat of criminal recourse; however today that is not the story. Those that choose to create the problem should be held accountable and be relieved of their positions they have shown that in times of crisis they are not interested in helping the victims; rather they are interested in their financial gains.


    Did the same happen in Joplin a couple years ago? No, instead there is a acceptance of the help and appreciation for the hard work and risks the towers had to take. Driving through storm damaged areas winching thousands of cars out from positions they should not be in takes a hard toll on the tow equipment which is very expensive to maintain. Does this make any difference to Oklahoma? Evidently not, out of state towers are just unwanted stepchildren. Oklahoma is not OK.


    Tom McKellips

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