Bitter cold and dead batteries translated into a 25 percent increase in the number of calls for help to AAA/Mid-Atlantic over the 10-day holiday period.

Most were related to car batteries.

AAA/Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Tracy Noble says the heavy call volume is likely to continue during Thursday's snow storm.

"Over the holiday period, we received over 61,000 calls from AAA members who were in need of rescue in our AAA/Mid-Atlantic territory that covers five states and the Washington, D.C. area," Noble said.

AAA handled 2,800 calls for assistance on Tuesday, the first work day back after the holidays. On New Year's Day, the agency answered 1,900 calls.

"AAA is fully staffed and we have added extra staff because in the next few days we will be experiencing a continuation of these frigid temperatures. So we are making preparations on our end for those additional calls."

Noble says with the extreme cold and snow, they will take care of stranded drivers first.

"We prioritize those in harm's way that are stuck on the side of the road," she said Wednesday.

"If you are calling, and your car is in your driveway and you are safe at home, unfortunately you are not going to be pushed to the top of the list."

She says the heavy volume of calls for assistance has pushed the waiting time for help to over an hour.

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