Some early morning drivers on the city’s West Side hit an unexpected snag in the form of huge hole in the ground on N. Zarzamora near W. Salinas Street.
Kevin Perez said he was heading toward downtown on the busy road around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday when he experienced that kind of car trouble.
"I came upon this pothole which is almost crater-sized,” Perez said. “It was dark, raining (and) full of water, so you can't see it."
He estimates as many as 10 other drivers felt the impact of it too -- seeing their tires torn to shreds by the road hazard.
Martin Andrade said he noticed the hole Tuesday morning, and intended to avoid it again.
"I just heard a boom. I kept coming and I heard that tire (making a grinding sound)," he said. "Everybody's (tires) here were flat.”
Andrade and Perez both pulled over into the same nearby parking lot, and waited for help in changing their tires.
Other drivers were unable to move their cars without the help of a tow truck.
At least one man was left with two flat tires and bent rims.
After his encounter with the crevice, Andrade put out an orange cone to warn other drivers.
Many of those whose cars were damaged wondered aloud who would pay for it.
Anne Hayden, spokeswoman for San Antonio Water System, said a crew repairing an underground water main made the cut in the street.
She said standard procedure calls for filling in the hole with a sand and rock mixture, then covering it over with a steel plate.
However, the day before the road is scheduled to be repaved, that plate is removed, leaving the filling material exposed, she said.
Hayden said that material usually is sufficient enough to sustain the weight of passing cars.
Due to the overnight rain, though, it washed out of the hole, she said.
In addition, Hayden said, the wet weather has caused the paving project to be delayed.
In the meantime, though, a SAWS crew would be sent out to the site to put down another steel plate, she said.
Drivers whose cars were damaged should contact SAWS’ claims department.