The cold has prevented many Manitobans from being able to start their vehicles this week.
The Canadian Automobile Association reported a record number of calls in Winnipeg on Tuesday when temperatures dipped below -39 C.
More than 3,100 people called for help. CAA says that’s five times the number of calls it usually receives on a winter day.
“The last eight days of polar vortex weather has definitely made demands for service overwhelming,” CAA Manitoba spokesperson Erika Miller said on Wednesday. “We did see another 3,200 calls yesterday.”
Miller said CAA is continuing to break records, but it’s also continuing to focus on member and driver safety.
“Our drivers and contractors have been working overtime to get to people as quickly as possible and in this weather, you can see that mechanical breakdown,” Miller said.
On Wednesday, CAA suspended at home service to focus on emergency calls.
“Today, the at home service is still suspended,” Miller said.
“We are taking a look at the weather and as we work through the calls we receive, we’re absolutely taking a look to make sure we can reinstate that home service as soon as possible,” Miller said.
During this week’s cold spell, Miller said most calls have been related to dead batteries.
In some cases, Miller said people just need a boost. Other times, the car needs to be towed.
“Because of the eight days of freezing temperatures, we’ve gone out to people’s homes to find that in some cases, their batteries are frozen rock solid. Then that boost becomes a tow. The tows take longer and use more resources,” Miller said.
CAA is asking people to be patient and stay warm while they wait.
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