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AAA flooded with calls from stranded motorists

Beacon Journal staff report

Northeast Ohio’s record-breaking cold snap is wreaking havoc on motorists.

The wait for a tow truck could take as long as two hours, said AAA Akron Auto Club Vice President Kevin Thomas.

“Our call center is flooded, in terms of actual calls into our dispatch system,” Thomas said. “Right now we are taking in as many as 50 to 60 calls an hour.”

Thomas said a typical winter day would generate about 20 to 30 calls per hour.

The call center in downtown Akron has 12 operators. They ask about the caller’s situation and prioritize the response according to how much danger the motorist faces.

Problems that leave a motorist stranded in a remote area like a freeway are given priority and the response today might be as short as 30 minutes, Thomas said.

AAA has ties to 77 tow trucks, but Thomas said those trucks are vulnerable in bad weather, too. At mid-day Tuesday, about 50 vehicles were available to help motorists.



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