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‘Butt-shaking’ potholes cost big bucks

A pothole on King Street in Northwest Washington covers most of the travel lane. AAA Mid Atlantic says drivers spend hundreds of dollars annually on pothole-related damage. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)

WASHINGTON — Multiple rounds of snow, ice and freezing rain have taken a toll on the roads — and, by extension, pocketbooks.

The relentless barrage of winter weather has left behind a maze of potholes. Drivers navigate an obstacle course of hazards, but one clunk is enough to do hundreds of dollars of damage.

“It’s been horrific,” says a driver named Tyrone, who says he needs to repair a leak in his tire after hitting a pothole.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says drivers in the Washington region shell out an average of nearly $600 per year to repair pothole-related damage to their cars.

“They are nerve-rattling, mind-blowing, mind-boggling, butt-shaking potholes,” says AAA spokesman John Townsend.

By his estimation, the pothole problem is the most severe since the so-called Snowmageddon of 2010 — if not worse.

A Largo resident named Ericka says she’s leaving the car at home until the roads get patched up.

“I found myself feeling like I could injure someone by dodging the pothole, going into their lane,” she says. “Now I take a bus and the Metro because I don’t want to mess up my tires.”

Wondering how you can report potholes to the region? Find the numbers on WTOP.com.

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