Crews play Whack-a-Mole with potholes as long winter destroys roads

HUDSON COUNTY, N.J. --  In Hudson County, four road crews are each filling more than 100 potholes a day. 

Supervisor Wally Wolfe says they're exhausted.

"We have no fresh horses coming in. What you see is what you have. In a snow event we are here from beginning to end," Wolfe said.

Four road crews are each filling more than 100 potholes a day in Hudson County, N.J.
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 Potholes form when plows and salt gouge roads. Water seeps in and freezes. When the ice melts, it creates a pocket below the road. Passing cars then cave them in.

"Our backs are against the wall but we're doing it," Wolfe said. 

Crews are playing pothole Whac-a-Mole
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 It's not just the Northeast. A map shows 2,529 potholes on highways in Indianapolis - and that's after filling 1,341 over the last three days. 

Gov. Mike Pence has ordered crews to work round the clock.

"We are initiating a plan that will involve alternating 12-hour shifts, supplemental crews, and additional hours," Pence said. 

No permanent repairs can be made until spring
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 As for Wally Wolfe, he's a realist, knowing no permanent road repairs can be made until spring. 

"This is a temporary patch that could last a couple of weeks and we'll be back out again," Wolfe said.

In New York City, they filled 1,100 potholes Thursday alone, which brings the total for the winter season to more than 64,000.  No wonder the head of the local AAA says this is the absolute worst year for potholes he can ever remember.
  • Jim Axelrod

    Jim Axelrod is the senior national correspondent for CBS News, reporting for "CBS This Morning," the "CBS Evening News," "CBS Sunday Morning," and other CBS News broadcasts.