Potholes pose more problems than usual for upstate drivers

Feb 28, 2014

Potholes aren't anything new for upstate New York drivers, but the sheer number of them this year is wreaking more havoc than usual.

Steve Pacer, with AAA of Western and Central New York, says calls to their roadside service because of pothole-caused flat tires have increased this year. Other weather related problems like dead batteries and cars stuck in snow banks have also increased this winter.

"In January, our calls were up 25 percent from 2013, so we're very busy and it just has to go with what's happening," Pacer said. "It's a winter that we haven't seen in a few years."

Potholes like cause unexpected challenges for drivers.
Credit Gino Geruntino / WRVO

In the city of Oswego, Department of Public Works Commissioner Michael Smith says potholes and water main leaks have become a common occurrence, but aren't any different than the problems other cities are facing.

"I know it can wear on all of our residents and I know it can be very frustrating and I just want them to know that it's frustrating for us too, because you can only do just so much," Smith said. "We will do our very best to get everything back in shape as soon as we can. As far as the snow and the inter conditions, we'll just continue to deal with them on a daily basis."

Smith says his employees are trying to keep up with everything, though their current staff is already stretched thin.

"We still get out and try to fix some of the worst stuff and we've been doing that regularly. We will continue to do that, and when the weather turns in our favor for road repair, we will have to make a very concerted effort to go fix all of them, as many as we can reasonably do."

But while the snow is still falling, the DPW's focus has to remain on plowing before it can turn to potholes.