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      'Snow day' equals 'payday' for towing and collison businesses

      If you were slipping and sliding all over the roads in and around Amarillo on Monday, and maybe even a little Tuesday, you certainly weren't alone. Between the hours of 5:00 a.m. on Monday and 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, the Amarillo Police Department reported responding to more than 220 accidents. But while everyone else was grumbling about the bad weather, a few local businesses were reaping the benefits.

      Although they don't enjoy the idea that accidents are making them money, collision centers and towing companies in Amarillo are raking in the business.

      "Yesterday was very busy," said co-owner of Bernard's Advanced Collision, Terence Bernard. "Phones were ringing off the hook today, we've got a lot getting towed in so it's pretty hectic in people's lives right now."

      By ten o'clock Tuesday morning, Bernard had about 46 vehicles at his garage and says he expects to see at least 15 more as the snow thins out.

      "We're seeing mainly totals, lots of fender benders of course, we'll see those as the weeks progress," said Bernard. "Anything that's drive-able, people want to wait until they bring it in."

      Ricky's Towingsays when bad weather strikes like it did Monday, they typically see their sales double. However, that economic boost both businesses see during those storms still comes with a few cons.

      "It's give or take," said CEO of Ricky's Towing, Ricky Cantu. "There's some perks to it. We might be busier and get more calls but fuel is really expensive, we don't turn our trucks off when it's this kind of weather because they may not start up again," he added.

      It's a bitter-sweet business -- more accidents mean more money. That's sometimes tough for these local businesses to swallow.

      "We hate that that's how we get out business but we do get a lot from the snow storms and ice storms," said Cantu.

      "It's a necessary evil that we have to have to operate our business," added Bernard. "Yes, many people's lives are turned upside down when it comes to accidents but we try to make it as easy as possible," he said. "Make a better situation out of the worst."