Damage from Potholes Leaves Out-of-State Families Stranded

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Two families from two different states were stranded at the same hotel for the same reason, and it was a bumpy road that led them there.

John and Sharon Arnold had two flat tires. They were headed home to Cleveland, Ohio, from North Carolina when they hit the hole on Interstate 77.

“My tire dropped in, and I could not get out. It was like being in a track,” John Arnold said.

It was while waiting to hear from their insurance company when they met the Risenhoover family in their hotel lobby.

“I hit the pothole, and I knew instantly that we had hit pretty hard,” Rick Risenhoover said.

It happened on Interstate 64 on their way back to Raleigh, N.C., from Illinois.

“It was a major jolt, and we're just lucky we kept control,” Risenhoover said.

One blown tire and two damaged rims later, Risenhoover is on a mission.

“I've got to get back tonight, so we're in search of a tire,” he said.

“We both unfortunately are not retired and need to work, so we need to get back to our jobs,” Arnold said.

The families can get reimbursed for at least some of their troubles by filing a complaint with the state Court of Claims office.

As of three weeks ago, the office had received about 100 claims this winter.

WSAZ.com checked back Monday and that number had risen to about 260. Last year, they didn't receive that many until May.

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