81,175 potholes and counting ...

John McGill III has been in the tire business a long time, but he never has seen the rash of pothole damage he has this year.

The toll includes burst tires, dented rims and bent suspensions, said McGill, who owns Valley Tire & Brake on Piner Road. One driver recently blew out both right tires on his Mustang, resulting in $4,000 in repairs and replacements.

"Every few years it seems like you get a bad year, and this year topped them all," McGill said.

Certainly, there have been plenty of potholes of late on Sonoma County roads. Through April, county crews have poured asphalt patches into an estimated 81,175 potholes, 12 percent more than the same period last year.

Prolonged periods of wintery weather haven't helped. Since July 1, nearly 40 inches of rain have fallen at the Sonoma County airport, 8 inches more than normal — and 2 inches greater than the same period last year.

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