Updated: 01/08/2014 9:43 PM
Created: 01/08/2014 6:40 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
With sub-zero winds whipping, silence is the last thing Northland drivers want to hear when they turn the key. Still, many cars were frozen solid by the deep freeze backing tow trucks up for hours.
Tom Nicholl drives a tow truck for Dave's Towing in Duluth, and even though he'd been juggling cold chains for days he was optimistic about the polar vortex releasing its grip.
“It's kind of weird that 8 degrees below zero is actually warm compared to the last few cold days,” Nicholl said.
Still, the towing company was getting up to 300 calls a day as Northland drivers cursed their batteries, and even a fleet of service vehicles couldn't keep up with the demand.
“Yesterday I heard seven or eight hours was realistic to wait for a jump,” Nicholl said.
Drivers like Kim McIntyre called for a tow, but she said the deep freeze has AAA backed up too.
“Yesterday the car wouldn't start so I put a call in to AAA. I was on hold for 65 minutes before my call was routed. Dave's Towing came out and started my car. I ran it, and it was great. This morning it wouldn't start again,” McIntyre said.
The tow drivers carry small jump boxes that can spark your car, but often vehicles need to be towed in for a battery replacement. Nicholl said the problem is repair shops are full too.
"It's hard to find a spot to put a car. You walk inside the shops and their packed up in there also,” Nicholl said.
Some vehicles were breaking down along the highway too. Nicholl said every driver should be prepared to wait out in the cold.
“If you're going to travel I would definitely recommend bringing a blanket and everyone talks about an emergency kit, but we see it first hand. A matter of 10 or 15 minutes is huge, and people don't always get to you right away all the time,” Nicholl said.
The cold clinging to the Northland might let up soon, but for now your rescue might be a few hours late.
Dave's Towing charges $40-$50 to come out and give you a jump. If a tow is needed the price bumps up to $70 or more depending on where you need to go.
Authorities Investigating Possible Homicide on the Fond Du Lac Reservation
Authorities are investigating the death of a 31-year-old woman in Stoney Brook Township on the Fond Du Lac Reservation. The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office said Monday that they believe the death was an act of violence. One suspect has been taken into custody and authorities are asking for the public's help locating a woman who may have more information.
Duluth Man Pleads Guilty to Suffocation Death of 13-month-old Daughter
A 30-year-old Duluth man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the suffocation death of his 13-month old daughter. The St. Louis County Attorney's office announced Christopher Dennis Peterson's plea in State District Court on Monday.
No Criminal Charges for Superior Officer in Controversial Arrest
Superior Police Chief Charles F. LaGesse announced Monday morning the Bayfield County District Attorney has issued his decision about the actions of Officer George Gothner during the arrest of Natasha Lancour.
Proctor Police Searching for Suspect in Armed Robbery
The Proctor Police Department is asking for the public's help in their search for the suspect from an armed robbery Sunday night. They say the suspect robbed the Proctor Milk House at gunpoint at about 10:15 p.m.
Human Remains Near Pine City Likely Part of Historic Burial Site
Human remains uncovered at a construction site near Pine City last week are most likely connected to a historic burial site. The results of the investigation into the remains were released on Monday.