MoDOT Warns Drivers of Potholes

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COLUMBIA - MoDOT officials warn drivers that potholes are popping up earlier than usual this year because of the extreme changes in temperature.

Officials said they are focusing on filling potholes instead of plowing snow.

Local auto repair shop owner Devin Kelley said potholes can cause damage to tires, suspension components and - on deep enough potholes - can ruin the undercarriage of cars. He said there are ways to protect cars against potholes.

"Really just paying attention," Kelley said. "Checking your tire pressure is really important because if you're running a low tire pressure - it's going to be that much easier to damage a tire or a wheel when you do hit a pothole."

He said being cautious, driving slowly and paying attention to the way a vehicle moves after hitting a pothole is important. Kelley also said potholes can cause unseen damage to cars, without the owner's realization, so getting a car checked is never a bad idea.

MoDot officials said crews will address the worst and deepest potholes first and then move on to the more minor potholes. Officials warn that drivers should be on the look out for closings and crews addressing this problem.

Drivers can report potholes by calling MoDOT at 1-888-275-6636. Drivers can also visit MoDOT Central District's website and click on "Report a Road Concern."