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Weeks of harsh winter weather creating potholes; here's how to prevent damage from them

Pothole in Norton road causes flat tires
Posted at 4:20 PM, Feb 21, 2022

CLEVELAND — The gas pump is already taking more of your money, and now weeks of harsh winter weather are creating holes in the road, and potentially, a hole in your wallet.

Potholes are shaking up drives across Northeast Ohio.

In real estate, we often hear about location, location, location.

The same can be said about Steve Scowary's tire shop on W. 117 in Cleveland.

"I'm the first store off 90," said Scowary, Tire Choice store manager.

This time of year, rattled drivers are rolling up in need of repairs after hitting potholes.

"Busted rims, blown-out tires," said Scowary.

In the last week, a half dozen of them have exited from the eastbound lanes of I-90.

"There's something going on west of here," said Scowary.

New Cleveland resident Mari, who moved here a couple of months ago, was among those I-90 drivers who found themselves with a flat.

News 5 asked her if anyone gave her a warning about potholes in Cleveland in the winter.

"I'm already a witness. I'm already warned," said Mari, who didn’t want to give her last name.

Mari was getting off of the highway when she said she hit a pothole and heard a loud pop.

"They're messing up people's cars and stuff, so something has to be done about this," said Mari.

While you may feel helpless in the battle against busted-up roads, there are some steps you can take to help soften the blow.

One of the secrets to surviving pothole season and avoiding costly repairs can be found on the side of your car.

"A driver's door has the right proper pressure. Ninety percent of my customers come in with the wrong pressure," said Scowary.

Scowary said a typical PSI is between 32 and 34 and it can add extra cushion.

"I'll get people coming in with 45, 50, 55 — that's not going to help," Scowary said.

AAA encourages drivers to look ahead, scanning the road for potholes.

If you can't avoid hitting one, safely slow down.

Also, beware of puddles that can cover those deep craters capable of doing the most damage.

"You can almost fish. Drown some worms in there – it's pretty large," said Scowary.

All great suggestions to keep in mind as we transition from winter to spring, and the season of change continues to take its toll on our roads and our vehicles.

"The cars these days have lower-profile tires, so they don't have as much rubber to protect the rim," said Scowary.

News 5 reached out to ODOT about those potholes on I-90, but it's a holiday, so we haven't heard back.

If you think your vehicle was damaged by a pothole you can file a claim with ODOT.

This is for state routes, U.S. routes, and interstates.

You'll need to tell them the road it happened on, the lane, and the time.