MONTREAL – With temperatures dipping into the -20 degrees, the sound of engines failing was a common symphony across Montreal.
For Ville-Émard resident Alma Baires, calling a tow truck is nothing new.
“It’s winter. We’re not used to it yet because it’s so cold, but it’s life,” she said as she watched her Dodge Journey get loaded onto a tow truck.
She wasn’t the only one.
CAA-Quebec said that the weekend’s cold snap resulted in triple the amount of calls it would normally field, even breaking records on Sunday.
“We received 11,500 on Sunday, which is a huge amount, especially for a weekend,” said spokesperson Anne-Sophie Hamel.
The mercury rose a little on Monday, but the phone lines at CAA-Quebec were still lighting up.
“At 8:30 a.m., we had a bit more than 3,000 calls, so we’re expecting about 8,000,” explained Hamel.
“It should get warmer in the afternoon, so that will slow down the number of calls we’re receiving.”
CAA-Quebec normally has a fleet of 1,100 tow trucks, but when the temperature dips, an emergency fleet of 70 is added just to boost cars.
“This time of the year, it’s a lot of batteries, especially older batteries. Boosting is our number one thing but there’s all kinds of car troubles in the cold,” said driver Jason Monk.