AUSTIN, Texas (AP) The number of vehicles and parts being repaired in Texas has exploded over the past year, prompting local and federal agencies to step in.
In recent months, officials in at least 20 states have been trying to fix vehicles that need replacing, with parts and labor being flown in from other parts of the country.
Officials say the surge in repairs is making it harder for consumers to get timely parts and parts are being ordered online or by phone.
Wausau police say their police department has been flooded with calls from concerned citizens after the city began asking for donations to pay for parts.
“It’s just been crazy.
We have so many people in the community saying that they need help.
We’re trying to get the word out that we need help,” Wausanewood Police Chief Jeff Smith said.
Police in Austin and San Antonio have had to temporarily suspend their operations to help out.
In Texas, more than 3,000 vehicles have been towed and repaired since January.
The latest tally from the Texas Department of Transportation showed more than 4,000 people were getting assistance.
That’s more than double the number of complaints received by the agency in the first half of 2017.
“We’re seeing a lot of calls from people who are concerned that they’re having to drive long distances to get parts,” said Tom O’Connor, who oversees state highway maintenance for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a group that works to make roads and bridges safer.