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Local AAA Flooded With Calls On Year’s Coldest Day

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Jon Delano Jon Delano
Jon Delano is a familiar face on KDKA-TV, having been the station's...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The call center at the local AAA is busier than ever.

“And is it just not starting?”

“How much longer before someone gets to him?”

It’s never-ending in this weather. Car problems are keeping AAA’s contracted on-the-scene car repair service hopping from one job to another.

“I started at 9 a.m., and I probably won’t get off until 8 p.m. Last week, I probably worked 77 hours,” says Adam Buck of BHR Road Assistance that works for AAA.

With this weather, it’s no surprise.

It’s happening all over this region. You wake up in the morning in sub-zero weather, you head out to your car and the darn battery is dead.

And here’s the other problem. With it happening to so many so often, it’s going to take a while to get serviced.

That’s what happened to Alex Smith in Highland Park. When his car wouldn’t start Tuesday morning, he called AAA.

“It did take some time on phone to get through and it took a little bit of time for him to get here, but understandably there’s a long line of people waiting for help today,” says Smith.

AAA gets calls from people stuck out on the roadways — and from those whose cars can’t move from the home residence.

“We prioritize on-the-road calls first. We have to get to road emergencies, people stuck in harm’s way,” says Steve Popovich, managing director of automotive services for AAA.

Popovich says one way to expedite the calls is through a special app that by-passes the call center.

“You do bypass the telephone queue and call receivers, call center, and it goes right into our dispatchers,” notes Popovich.

The residential calls are usually for flat tires, bad alternators, split hoses, locked keys, and, of course, batteries.

“Right now it’s reading 11.2 and dropping,” Buck tells Smith. “It definitely has a drain.”

Time for a new battery — that’s what the car mechanic found Smith’s car needed. So Smith — like most of us would — got a new battery on the spot.

“It’s definitely not uncommon, but unwanted though,” adds Smith.

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