Knoxville (WVLT) -- When Knoxville Police stopped responding to non-emergency calls this morning, drivers were forced to abandon their cars and trucks on the side of the road.
Leaving hundreds of vehicles stuck, many damaged, some not drivable.
Enter the tow truck drivers, left to clean up mother nature's mess.
Chestnut Street Transport and Recovery driver Rick Worthington knew when the calls started coming in at 6:50 a.m., it was going to be a busy morning, but even he couldn't imagine this.
"Oh yeah, yeah. They're everywhere. I think we saw two coming up."
Cars, hundreds of them, left abandoned on the sides of roads, in ditches, down ravines.
In most cases, the drivers are long gone, unable to wait, needing to get to work.
And so, Rick Worthington gets to work, too.
Call by call, car by car.
Some just need towed back to the road.
Others have damage and need repair work.
Some come here, to the Knoxville Collision Center.
"We've had a number of vehicles towed in. It's been pretty much a continuous line of tow trucks today."
Rod Kuhn says by their standards the damage is mostly minor, busted headlights, bended fenders.
"Normally, we'd see three or four cars a day. I think the girls told me as of noon we had 14. We're probably going to get 20 to 25 cars today."
Maybe more, if what Rick Worthington fears actually happens.
And the roads freeze again tonight as the temperature drops.
"We'll be out here all night, I guess!"
And so he's off, to answer another call, tow another car.
All in a day's work that isn't done yet.
When we left that single Chestnut Street crew, they alone, had already towed seven cars.
Some drivers tell us they are on track to break their own personal records for the number of cars they tow in a single day.