STARK COUNTY, Ohio — As the snow melts, potholes are beginning to wreak havoc on Northeast Ohio.
Brandi Tanner's daughter was driving to work at 8:30 a.m. Monday when she hit a gaping pothole on MacCallum Road in Stark County. Brandi said it was five feet wide and 15 feet in length.
"She ended up hitting this pothole, spun out, ended up backward,” Tanner said.
Her daughter’s Mustang landed across the street, where you can still see the tire tracks on the moist ground that halted her car. If that ground didn’t stop her car, she would have ended up in a ravine.
“I mean, it absolutely makes me sick. This could have been a very bad call,” Tanner said.
After the crash, Tanner immediately started making calls to every city official she could think of just to get the hole filled.
“I think there were 27 calls within the first three hours of this happening,’ Tanner said.
Four hours later, Stark County Engineers came and filled the hole. Dave Terrence is the Chief Deputy Engineer for Stark County, who said potholes are inevitable in Ohio due to the weather.
“It's a function of the time of year and the road conditions and what the freeze-thaw cycle does to the roads. There's no greater enemy of a road and a structural structure of a road than water,” said Terrence.
Terrance said that his crews that plow snow are the same ones that fill potholes, and the past two weeks they have been nonstop.
“We will put five, six, seven county crews together throughout Stark County looking for potholes and identifying pothole areas and then filling them with material,” Terrence said.
But for situations like Tanner's, sometimes they can happen overnight where crews can't catch them in time.
‘Particularly this time of year, the water will infiltrate in that area of the road. Then it freezes, the water expands into ice, creates a void underneath the road and when it melts again. Then as soon as the car goes over it, boom, the pothole appears and just blows out,” Terrance said.
Right now, that pothole on MacCallum Road is filled, and the county also plans to put a catch basin and some pipes to prevent future potholes.
You can go to the Stark County Engineers website to report any potholes or call their 24-hour line at 330-477-6781. There you'll also find their policy on reimbursing damages from potholes.
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