Tow truck operators say they've seen 1,000 percent increase in calls

WESTWOOD, Mass. – Tuesday afternoon, Boston ties a century-old record of staying below 20 degrees for seven consecutive days.

That’s cold enough to sap the holiday spirit from everyone returning to work Tuesday, and what’s possibly worse, sap the power right out of their car batteries.

Jordan Brown, a tow operator with Bill and Mike’s Automotive in Dedham said he’s been working nonstop helping customers.

“Over 200 calls that we did already for today,” he said. “Completely running out of batteries.”

It’s a direct result of the bitterly cold weather.

“When temperatures plummet below freezing, your battery loses a significant amount of its power.

And when temperatures plummet below zero your battery loses almost all its power,” AAA spokesperson Mary Maguire said.

On a normal day, bill and mike's automotive gets about 20 calls for roadside assistance. Clearly these are not normal days.

“Over this past New Year's holiday weekend, we fielded more than 62,000 calls from members,” Maguire said.

That's three times the normal call volume for AAA, and at least 70-percent of the calls involved dead batteries.

“I called over at AAA probably 10 a.m., they called me back around midnight last night saying they didn't have any batteries available,” AAA member Mike Duggan said. “Figured I'd try again today, and so I put in a request at one. Now we're here.”

After 32 hours of waiting, Duggan finally got the battery he needed.