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Potholes coming after cold, wet conditions

After a snowy weekend, the roadways seem to be perpetually wet. With the cold weather we’ve seen recently, that means bad news for drivers and public works departments: Potholes.

After a rainstorm or snow melt, water can seep into cracks into the asphalt on roads. During freezing conditions, water freezes into ice, which makes it expand. The asphalt gets split from the expanding ice, which loosens it. Finally, cars consistently running over the loose asphalt can break it up further and remove it- creating the pothole.

Unfortunately, only temporary fixes are feasible now for potholes, including coal patches. Due to the cold, wet weather, asphalt won’t properly set onto roads. Thus, it may not be spring until potholes can be properly treated throughout the region.

“This time of year, sometimes you can’t get asphalt, because on the road gets cold, you have to put cold patch down there to temporarily fix it,” explained Princeton Public Works director Jackie Phillips.

Jackie told WVVA News that due to the cold weather, Princeton had already used 20 bags of cold patch to fix roadways. Princeton uses 75 bags in a typical winter, according to Phillips.

If you see potholes in your road or neighborhood, report them- as local public works departments for cities and counties don’t know where they are unless the public tells them.

Ross Harris

Weekend Meteorologist/ Multimedia Journalist

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