‘I went over the bump and lost my breath’: Heat damages roads in Wichita and Hays


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The extreme heat is affecting roads in our area, including some that have cracked and crumbled as drivers pass by.

“I was thinking, ‘oh my gosh, what in the world was that?” said Shara McMahon, Wichita resident.

McMahon was driving down South Broadway near Haysville when she drover over a giant crack.

“I didn’t even see the bump in the road,” McMahan said. “I just saw that there was a police car there with lights on so of course, you avoid it. I went over the bump, and I lost my breath. It was pretty big. I had no idea it was even there.”

She’s had to refill her tire with air since then, but she’s not the only one experiencing vehicle issues after going over the buckled road.

Several drivers said they, too, have noticed damaged to their cars.

One woman said her rim was bent and her tire went flat.

“I’ve hit a pothole before and that was worse that a pothole,” said McMahan.

Officials said something similar happened in Hays, but the heat is to blame for both incidents.

Heat damages road at 22nd and Canterbury in Hays

“I felt it go thump,” said Chuck Asbury, owner of Fine Line Auto. “I was in the office building here and it shook the building.”

City officials have smoothed out the buckle on S. Broadway to avoid further damage to cars and poured new concrete after taking out two lanes of pavement.

Asbury said he’s seen it before and predicts it won’t be the last.

City officials said it’s hard to prepare for these types of damage, because they can happen anywhere because of the heat.

“With all the rain we’ve had, there’s lots of water under the roadways and that’s what causes it to pop up, too,” said Asbury. “The water that’s hot under the roadway is what causes a lot of the pressure and that’s what pops it up.”

Officials from Wichita Public Works said if a driver believes there car was damaged, they can file a claim for damages against the city. The law department will then investigate the claim.

The area where the damaged happened on S. Broadway is down to two lanes but will be back open in the next few days.

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