It was a cold and crisp morning, and before most stores opened for their Boxing Day bonanzas, 150 people found out they wouldn’t be heading to the malls anytime soon.
CAA Manitoba spokesperson Liz Kulyk confirmed 150 people had called the auto club looking for a boost by 9 a.m. Tuesday as temperatures dropped into –30 C territory, with a windchill of –39.
“It went from –10 C one day and then it was literally –30 C. That first day of –30 C wasn’t too bad, people were probably just starting to realize that their cars were struggling a bit, but now we’re into day three of –30 C … and we’re finding that a lot of people’s batteries aren’t just cold, they’re frozen rock solid.
“And when they go out in the morning if they haven’t plugged in, there’s no way that car is starting.”
CAA saw more than 600 people for Christmas day, said Kulyk, compared to the previous Monday at 190 calls.
“It was around 650, it was 90 per cent boosts. So it was people that hadn’t plugged in or didn’t have the ability to plug in.”
By 1 p.m. Tuesday, 750 people had made the cold call to CAA.
If people find themselves with a frozen car, there’s a few things that can be done, said Kulyk.
“The first thing that we say is plug in to begin with, so you don’t have to call us. The second thing we’d say is if you do have to call CAA for service, make sure you’re somewhere warm. We will get to you as fast as possible but sometimes we have to prioritize people who aren’t somewhere warm.”
Last year at this time CAA was equally busy, but for a different reason.
“Last Christmas on Dec. 26 we had a huge dump of snow. Generally when CAA is busy it’s because it’s cold … Last year was tows and pull-outs, this year it’s boosts and other cold-weather related issues.”
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