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Body shops see backlog with winter storms

After ill-timed winter storms, body shops are seeing huge backlogs.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Here's a warning for drivers heading into the New Year: If you need your car fixed after a collision, be prepared to wait.

Multiple body shops, including Highland Collision Center in St. Paul, report major backlogs after two ill-timed winter storms after Thanksgiving and Christmas. The ice and snow from those storms led to more than 600 combined crashes and more than 1,000 spinouts across the state.

The crashes have left collision centers scrambling to make fixes.

"The weather definitely did affect it," Highland Collision Center estimator and manager Joseph Vasylev said, pointing out that this week's storm was particularly difficult. "With the rain and slush the past few days, I'm sure the asphalt froze up and caused cars to slide around a lot more."

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Highland Collision Center has seen everything this winter, ranging from a Mercedes that struck a pole to totaled Kias and Hondas. And the backlog may only get worse this week, since it sometimes takes people a few days to bring their vehicles in after a storm.

Vasylev said his shop is seeing double the amount of drop-offs right now. He's also booked for several weeks until the end of January and likely into February. 

"It's definitely hard," he said, "but we do our best."

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