11 cars damaged by Shelby Drive pothole - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

11 cars damaged by Shelby Drive pothole

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

As rain lightens up in Memphis and Shelby County, road crews are going back to work, filling the potholes that are blowing out tires across the metro area.

At least 11 vehicles sustained damage on Tuesday morning after hitting a pothole on Shelby Drive between Airways Boulevard and Swinnea Road.

"Hit two potholes," recalled Memphis driver Sheila Mims. "The next thing I know, my tire was flat."

The pothole at Shelby Drive and Louis Carruthers Drive is so deep, it almost swallowed a traffic cone.

"You could tell it was a big one," said Memphis driver Pedro Monteflores. "I could see the car in front of me jumping."

Many potholes look just like puddles, so be careful and watch out.

While you're watching out for potholes, also keep a look out for drivers swerving around the gaps in the road. Keep in mind that engineers say potholes typically form in the right half of the far right lane.

Shelby County Roads and Bridges more than doubled their manpower to rid the county of this pothole plague.

"Be patient with us," urged Darren Sanders of the Shelby County Government.

The City of Memphis also has all hands on deck.

"And we'll do that until we get them all done," said Mayor A C Wharton. "I'll approve the overtime."

The rain, however, slowed crews down for a few days. Sanders says the rain adds an extra challenge because then their filler mix can't bond to the pavement that's already on the ground.

Potholes form when moisture builds up beneath the roadway, then freezes and thaws.

"We've enjoyed a saying in Public Works over the years that if you report a pothole before noon and if we didn't fill it the same day, we would name that pothole after you," said Memphis Public Works Director Dwan Gilliom. "Unfortunately, the weather is slowing us down a bit, but we're going to make every effort."

Local agencies say it could take up to three weeks to fill all of the potholes. Meanwhile, residents continue to send damage claims their way.

Gilliom is going to meet with the city attorney to streamline the claims process.

In the meantime, you can call any of the following numbers to report potholes:

For the City of Memphis, call (901) 636-6500 or 311

For Shelby County, call (901) 222-7705

For Tennessee Interstates, call (901) 867-2959

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