Potholes become an issue for the Missoula Street Department every year. Brian Hensel is the Deputy Public Works Director for Streets and he says this year has been more challenging than usual because of the amount of snow that accumulated on our roads.

“It has created just the perfect recipe for potholes,” Hensel said. “There may be a spot where there are no potholes one day and then over the span of the night, when things freeze, you can have a pothole the next day that wasn’t there,” Hensel said. “I always advise folks this time of year to use extra care when driving and slow down. If you do see standing water on the street, try to make an effort to slow down.”

Hensel says there is still a lot of snow that needs to melt, but we haven’t seen the amount of flooding we expected to see.

“It is kind of creating a slower melt off situation from what we have seen,” Hensel said. “Street division has been working with not only patching potholes as soon as we are able to around the clock, but we have also been going around and opening up storm drains. We are getting our storm water melt off flowing into these drains as best as possible. We have had numerous calls and emails. We are also responding to storm water issues.”

According to Hensel, they have received community support that always helps during this time of year.

“A lot of folks are out there chipping away,” Hensel said. “They know where their storm drains are and they are trying to get that ice removed. I have seen a lot of success. It is nice to see that folks are taking the initiative and caring to help themselves and their neighbors out. A lot of the folks I stopped and talked to, they understood what a big job this is to get everything open. It was nice to see that community spirit out there.”

Hensel encourages residents to report potholes either by phone or online through the city’s website.