Kansas roadways take a hit from floodwaters

Kansas roadways take a hit from floodwaters
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Potholes are multiplying in Kansas as floodwaters sweep across the 4-States.

“Oh, I hit two or three daily it seems like,” said Mark Thompson, spending the day fixing a flat tire in Pittsburg.

It’s a problem the Kansas Department of Transportation is well-aware of as they take note of damaged highways in need of thousands of dollars of repair.

“It actually stems from winter. You know, you got the ice going in, water gets in behind there, and then it freezes and then the next thing you know you’ve got a little bit of a pothole that comes up. Then when you get a lot of rain and flood like we get in here, my God, you don’t know what’s coming,” said Wayne Nelson, Area Superintendent for KDOT.

The flood waters are also washing up debris, bringing with them plenty of sharp objects.

“I must’ve run over a nail or something. Some shingles and stuff blew over Weir City, so I figure that’s what got me,” said Thompson.

Malle’s tire shop is keeping busy, seeing an increase in vehicles dealing with Thompson’s same trouble. Mechanics there say whether your tire is looking low from a nail, or a pothole, it’s important to take care of it fast.

“If they’re starting to go down, try to get them into a shop as soon as possible because it can change a $200 bill down to a $20 or $10 repair,” explained Jacob Sanders, a mechanic at Malle Service & Tire.

If you don’t want your car to end up in the repair shop, experts say to take it slow and stay aware.

“If you know that the road is rough, keep your speed down and keep an eye out,” warned Sanders.

Thompson says he’s following that advice, and staying on course, even if that means a bump in the road later on down the line.

“Keep both hands on the wheel and do not swerve to miss them.”

You can always check Kansas road conditions by calling 511.

The City of Pittsburg is also seeing an increase in reports of potholes. Officials there say street crews address potholes one to two times a week, but have to wait for dry conditions in order for the patch to stay in place.

You can report a pothole in Pittsburg here.