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I-75 S. potholes pop tires on 20 vehicles in Anderson Co. | News

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I-75 S. potholes pop tires on 20 vehicles in Anderson Co.
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Nearly two dozen people were forced to go tire shopping Wednesday morning after driving through a patch of potholes on I-75 in Anderson County.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation said large potholes reopened starting at mile marker 128. TDOT crews are currently patching potholes in that area to prevent further damage.

"You're driving down the road and you don't expect it to happen to you. Obviously, it did. I got a phone call, and here I am," said Nick Smolen, Campbell County resident.

TDOT planned to close a lane of southbound I-75 at mile marker 128 on Wednesday night to focus on pothole repairs.

Nick Smolen was called to the rescue after his girlfriend hit a large pothole on I-75 on Wednesday morning, blowing out one of her tires.

"She came up on it quick, hit it, and the next thing you know the tire is blown out. It's the lovely Tennessee weather," Smolen said.

While TDOT sent crews out to patch up the highway, many vehicle owners went to the closest shop for repairs.

"Some people had multiple flat tires," said Dusty Tindell, GT Tire general manager. "Today (Wednesday) has been a little crazy trying to get everyone back on the road."

GT Discount Tire Pros said business has been relatively slow the past two weeks due to weather. But on Wednesday, it skyrocketed.

The patch of potholes on I-75 brought a lot of business, including some people from out of town.

"A lady in here is on her way to the beach so I am assuming they are on vacation. That's a bad thing to happen on vacation but the rest are just trying to get home," Tindell said.

While a blown tire may be a quick fix, it is putting a dent into many wallets.

"One guy had two flat tires, so he is looking at 3 or 4, maybe $500. If it (damages the suspension), you could get up to $1,000 pretty quickly," Tindell explained.

While current road conditions are annoying for drivers, they understand crews are trying their best to keep up with Mother Nature's doing.

"With all of the snow we've had recently, it's just opened up the potholes," Smolen said. "They are opening up faster than TDOT can fill them up. It's good for the tire stores."

TDOT said drivers need to watch out for workers and potholes while driving through this stretch of interstate.

If your car was damaged by a pothole on a state road, you do have a right to file a claim to the state.

The Claims Form must be printed, filled out completely, signed with an original signature and then sent by U.S. mail to the address shown on the form. Click here to access the form.

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