BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Drivers, who abandoned their cars during Buffalo’s historic winter storm earlier this month, may want to put some pep in their step and claim their vehicle soon.

That’s because those remaining cars are at risk of being impounded.

It has been nearly two weeks since the storm hit and there are still some cars that haven’t been claimed. If your car is impounded, you’ll have to pay a fee to get it back.

Among the large piles of snow at the McKinley Mall in Hamburg, there are still some cars that were abandoned during the winter storm.

Going into Wednesday, there were seven cars unclaimed, now there are two, which include a heavily-damaged Kia and an Ontario-plated car with side damage.

“It’s amazing, nothing seems to amaze me anymore, but after the 2014 storm, it was about two weeks after before we got the last car picked up,” said Bill Geary, Erie County’s Department of Public Works commissioner.

Cars that were dumped behind the old Sears at the McKinley Mall, were towed by Erie County, to make way for plows and first responders during the storm.

As Western New York was hit with feet of snow — more than 100 cars were towed here.

“Some of them may have been running, keys in it, most of them people just vacated the vehicles,” Geary said.

One car Erie County towed started on fire.

“There was one vehicle, one woman was in it, when the tow truck operator showed up it had some smoke coming from the dashboard that vehicle ended up being a total loss, started on fire, but fortunately everybody got out ok that vehicle has been reclaimed,” Geary said.

Other cars that were brought here were rentals out of the state of Florida.

“Oddly enough, the people that rented it sent the keys back to that rental agency and they left the vehicle here so those have been cleaned up,” Geary said.

Beginning Wednesday — the County Executive’s Office says the Erie County Sheriff’s Office will start to contact drivers who have cars here, looking up registration information from license plates and VIN numbers. Cars that aren’t claimed will eventually be impounded by the sheriff’s office.

“But, they’ll be responsible for a fee once it’s towed,” Geary said.

There is an inventory of the cars that are still at the McKinley Mall on the county’s website.

Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.