Notice something? Say something: Md. highway official urges public to report potential road damage

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Memories of Monday’s flooding rains are no doubt still haunting D.C.-area residents. And all-too-tangible reminders of that deluge have lingered in the form of road damage.

Though residents aren’t qualified to fix the damage themselves, they can still do their part and make road crews aware of anything odd they might notice when driving along familiar routes, said Charlie Gischlar, spokesman for Maryland’s State Highway Administration.

“We’re creatures of habit,” he said. “We take the same way to work … or wherever you’re going.”

If there’s a noticeable difference, such as a dip, a bump or erosion on the slopes, go to the administration’s website and report it. (In Virginia, visit VDOT’s site; in D.C., visit DDOT’s website.)

Multiple online reports of irregularities in a specific area, he said, will raise red flags. And, note that road damage isn’t always due to weather, he said. It could be caused by something such as a failing pipe underneath a roadway.

Crews, too, watch for irregularities when they’re doing such things as litter pickup, mowing or repairs. But, it doesn’t take long for a problem to emerge, as Monday proved.

“It does impact when you get those types of storms that dump that much rain in that short amount of time,” he said.

And more is likely on the way. Thursday’s forecast calls for an 80% chance of rain — some of it in the form of thunderstorms.

Gischlar said crews do their part to mitigate potential damage by picking up debris that could collect underneath a bridge, to ensure water won’t be restricted from flowing underneath. They also do what they can to vacuum garbage from ditches and culverts.

Which brings us to another thing you can do that can help road conditions in the long run: Don’t litter.

“It really impacts our stormwater management systems,” he said.

WTOP’s John Domen contributed to this report.

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