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WASTE WATCH: Avoiding potholes and other damage to roadways

It's that time of year when weather starts taking its toll on our roads and highways.

There are some things you can do to prevent some of that damage.
It's one of the things we don't necessarily thing about, but weather can take a toll on our roads and highways.

Fluctuating temperatures mixed with other elements like rain and ice cause major damage to roads.

In the long run, that costs you money.
Every time you hit a pothole, it causes wear and tear on your vehicle.
Transportation officials say poor road conditions will cost you an average of $335 a year.

You may want to be on the lookout now, because you might be about to hit another pothole.

The brutal winter weather we've had, and all the rain we've been having, is resulting in lots of pothole problems popping up on our roads and highways all across the area.

And that can mean heavy damage, and unexpected and costly repairs for car owners.
Santa rosa county has two crews out patching pot holes every day. Sometimes each crew gets to as many as 40.

Escambia County spent almost $120,000 on asphalt alone in efforts to repair our roads.

"They've been very good, very good. I don't know who's keeping them you know on their toes, but somebody in my neighborhood is," says Escambia County resident Betty Wreath.

There are things you can do to help protect your vehicle.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated.

If you can't avoid a pothole slow down and don't brake. Braking can actually cause more damage.

Hold the steering wheel firmly, and use caution when driving over a puddle, it could be hiding a pothole.

"No, I usually try to slow down, especially if i see them ahead. I try to go around them," says Frances Walding.

But if you do have a run-in with a pothole, it could be expensive.
Tires and rims can cost hundreds of dollars.
Tie-rods, bearings and other parts can be just as expensive.

"When the bad weather comes, the potholes pop up. And then we see - not only we, the other shops in town as well - see a rash of damage from them," says Patton Nevels, owner of Nevels Automotive Services.

If you have a pot hole problem in your neighborhood... You can call your county public works or road department.

In Escambia County it's 494-7393. In Santa Rosa 626-0191. 651-7392 in South Okaloosa. And 689-5772 in North Okaloosa.