Drivers finding expensive side effect of recent rain

HOUSTON Public works crews are out trying to repair the damaged roads, but it's still causing a headache for drivers.

It can take some pretty tricky maneuvering to avoid hitting one of these. Some drivers say the pothole problem is already so bad and they have never seen anything like it.

"Every road you go down, you got a pothole," said Hazel Bohannon.

"There are some really bad streets that I just don't even go on," said Bill Ross.

If you thought the pothole problem in Houston was bad now, be warned that the worst may be yet to come.

"They're outta hand. They're all over the place," said John Kirby.

After the recent heavy rains, the city is bracing for an increase once the streets really dry out.

"We're going to have crews, actually on standby, ready to go out and make the repairs but it's going to depend on one thing and that is calling 311 to report it," said Alvin Wright with City of Houston Public Works Department.

By 6pm Friday, public works had taken 18 calls for pothole repairs. That number is expected to rise in the coming days. Crews usually fix about 60,000 potholes a year. Most of the 311 pothole calls are generated from Houston's west side.

"We just need to get the streets fixed. That's what we're paying taxes for," said Mimi Whiteside.

Hitting a pothole just the wrong way can really take its toll on your car and cost you big time.

"The hole, rubbing up against the edge of the hole, it tears up the aluminum," said auto shop owner Michael Poutous. "Four, five, six hundred dollars worth of repairs is not worth getting wherever you're going a minute earlier."

Mechanics at this auto repair shop have replaced the front right tire on one BMW three times already because of a pothole. They're gearing up for what will no doubt be a busy summer. Good for them, bad for Houston drivers.

You should always pay attention to the road and the car in front of you. If you see the cars hit a hole hard, slow down immediately. If you see a pothole and you want it fixed, make sure you call 311.

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