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Potholes Turn Bay Area Roads Into Mine Fields After Weekend Storm

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) -- The effects of the storm on Bay Area roads are everywhere. Gaping potholes have turned them into veritable mine fields for drivers. If your car is damaged, Caltrans may pay for repairs.

The storms are done for now, but the damage is everywhere on our roads.

At Calderon's Tires in San Jose, potholes mean business is booming.

Louis Dixon hit a pothole on an exit ramp off Highway 17, and shredded his tire. The repair will cost him about $250 dollars.

Dixon said, "I'm glad and thankful I didn't have a wreck after hitting that hole because I almost lost control of the car."

Which brings us to a long-running program that few people know about, where drivers can file a damage claim against Caltrans.

Caltrans says, "If you feel that you have lost money or property as a result of any action or inaction by Caltrans and your claim is for $10,000 or less, you can file your claim directly with Caltrans."

You have to get two repair estimates, and then wait 45 days for processing.

Caltrans says each claim is taken on a case by case basis, and that damage from new potholes likely won't get covered.

Haus said, "If somebody hit a pothole 15 minutes after it developed, than that's certainly not our fault. But if it's been out there for months at a time, then that's another question."

For Dixon, he's in too much of a rush, and filing a claim is too much trouble.

He'll let it go, this time.

Dixon said, "We prayed for rain, we need the water, and I said maybe this is just one of the prices we have to pay for at least no longer suffering with the drought."

It's not just potholes, damage from this storm is so severe that Governor Jerry Brown just declared a state of emergency.

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