AAA sees increase in calls

The winter of the century has wreaked havoc on vehicles.

AAA Public Affairs manager Diana Dibble said this January it received a 25 percent increase in calls compared to last January. She said the number of calls is expected to increase for February as well, but will not get those results until the first week of March.

“The temperatures and slippery road conditions are a big factor in driving conditions,” she said. “We contract a partnership with other businesses in the Dunkirk and Fredonia area.”

Ellman’s Garage in Dunkirk is contracted to go out on AAA calls for the Dunkirk area customers, while Mancuso Service Station in Fredonia is contracted for AAA calls for Fredonia, Cassadaga, and Westfield area customers.

The blizzards and harsh cold temperatures are a combination for the number of calls AAA is receiving this winter.

“The type of calls shift,” Dibble said. “Extreme cold means battery issues or people locked out or frozen out of cars; blizzards mean slippery roads, which increase in people getting stuck or sliding off the road.”

Dibble added this winter does seem to be the busiest winter for AAA in years.

“It is definitely busier than I have seen in other winters,” she said.

Mancuso Service Station owner Anthony Mancuso said this winter has been extremely busy for him.

“We have a full staff of four guys working on the tow,” he said. “We have had up to two-hour delays ,which is uncommon for us.”

Mancuso pointed out this winter has been like the winters of old.

“We haven’t had a real winter in three years,” he said. “This is a common winter and we are trying to get use to the winters of old again.”

Mancuso added this weather is good for business.

“The weather has helped our industry,” he said. “We hadn’t been doing that well for three years and now we are very busy.”

Mancuso said he is more than happy to serve AAA customers.

“We take top priority for people who are stuck on the roads, but everyone is a priority,” he said. “I am very thankful for the patience and support the customers show us.”

Fredonia Chief Bradley Meyers commented on the work the Fredonia Department of Public Works has done this winter.

“The DPW has done a real good job,” he said. “We have not had any more problems than usual this winter.”

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