Officials encourage people to report potholes to the right agency

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Updated: 3/01/2013 10:52 pm Published: 3/01/2013 9:43 pm

The rainy and wintry weather is causing more potholes to open up.

There's a growing need to get them repaired quickly before they get worse and cause vehicle-damage, or injuries.

The City of Tulsa and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation say drivers play a crucial role in reporting potholes before they get worse.

"I was driving in the neighborhood and just hit the pothole," said Hillary Nguyen.

She told FOX23, she was in for more than just a rough ride when all of sudden she found herself fighting to keep control of her car.

"It made me turn my wheel,” Nguyen said. “I hit the curb and popped my tire."

She was six miles from home and was stuck for three hours. In some areas, the roads are bad on city streets and some stretches of highway across the region.

The temperatures changing from spring-like weather to freezing and back again are rough on the
roads and on drivers.

"The sooner we can react to them, the less damage,” said Mark Zishka, and Oklahoma Department of Transportation Engineer. “Potholes tend to grow so if you can get them filled in immediately they tend to stabilize the situation."

It's easy to report potholes.

But the key is being specific about where you see them.

"Usually you’re driving down the road, I've done that before. If you've seen an accident on the
highway, you don't paying attention to where they are," said Zishka.

However, in the case of potholes paying close attention can pay off in more ways than one. Not only will it help you
avoid them, it will help crews fill them faster.

And on the highway that's especially important.
If your car is damaged by a pothole on a state road you have the right to contact Oklahoma's Division of Risk Management at 405-521-4999 and possibly get the state to pay for your repairs.

"They'll send them the documentation to fill out some forms," Zishka told FOX23.

That will get the process started for the department to look into what happened.

If there's a pothole in your area that needs to be repaired, you can report it to the City of Tulsa's Customer
Care Center by calling 918-596-2100 or if you need to reach the state you can call 918-838-9933.

Bottom-line, when you see bad potholes make a quick note when you can do it safely.

Zishka says noting whether it's on a city street or a highway will help you call the right number to get
it fixed faster.

If it is after the department has closed for the day, you are advised to call 911.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mayor Maynot - 3/3/2013 7:59 AM
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Lest they grow into sinkholes and devour your car.
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