LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The old parking lot for Charlie's Roadhouse hosted a hazmat team Friday, that quickly drew a line of cars, looking to get tar removed from their tires. Bubba Henderson was in the line, but didn't seem as upset as others.
"Very bad situation for everybody concerned," said Henderson. "But, I think Tex Dot and the hazmat people are trying their best to clean up all the cars, as quick as they can."
According to The Texas Department of Transportation, the gravel covering the asphalt before the storm was displaced by the rain and quickly melted. But, motorists weren't notified in time. Don Net was driving the road that morning and was surprised when the drive started feeling off.
"I didn't have a place to pull off, so I kept on going, and, as I kept on going, it looked like, really, suspended animation," said Net. "The cars were just stuck and the tar was kind of pulled up on the tires."
It was at this point that tire stores in Lufkin, like Cooks Tire and Service Center and Firestone Complete Auto Care, started seeing an influx in customers. One of the mechanics at Firestone, Matthew Thacker, said that they're still receiving tarred cars.
"We had another customer come in with the inner fender well, the plastic part over the tire," said Thacker. "It had so much tar on it that it grabbed that and just rolled it up with the tire. Anywhere from $400 to almost a thousand dollars, depending on the size of the tire."
Mechanics advised customers to buy brand new tires. An expensive ticket for drivers, that, according to Gideon Arambula, at Firestone, quickly created a problem for the tire stores, themselves.
"Our warehouse and our two tire distributors we get through are all in Houston," said Arambula. "So, they've been shipping out of Dallas and having to go all the way around Houston and trying to get here in time.
Both Cooks Tire and Firestone have re-stocked and are continuing to take in customers.
Tex Dot sent out word Friday afternoon, that work is currently being done to open up another lane on the southbound side of the loop. An emergency contract is set to finish up the construction mid-next week.