Oakland's pothole blitz could take longer to repair because of winter storms

This winter's consistent rainfall and other city-wide problems has led to a back-log of potholes to fill.

At the kick-off of Oakland's "Pothole Blitz" on Monday -- when the transportation department focuses its efforts on filling potholes after the rainy winter season - Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said the city has filled in 2,700 potholes since March 1.

There are thousands more to go.

"Our target is 12,000 [potholes] a year, I imagine we will at least double that this year," said Fred Kelley, the director of the City of Oakland's Transportation Department.

City leaders launched the pothole blitz by helping to fill a pothole near 73rd Avenue and Hamilton in East Oakland. 

Around the corner, a truck drove through another, larger pothole that ended up shattering the back windshield. 

Oakland resident Nicole Normant expressed her frustrations with potholes on Mountain Boulevard near Golf Links Road.

"I just spent $500 on two tires for my daughter," she said. "My tire has a slow leak in it. It's much worse this year. All the rain and the storms - and the city's not addressing it," Normant said.

Kelley said the recent ransomware attack on the city also affected the website residents usually use to report potholes in their neighborhood.

"The ransomware attack has impacted individuals ability to report online," he said. "They can no longer report online, not can we access the reports that came in previously online. It's had a big effect on our ability to understand where potholes were."

City leaders say the website is still able to accept reports, but recommended calling the city's 311 site instead of reporting online, for now.

City leaders and officials did not immediately know how much the city ends up paying, per year, on average in vehicle damage claims. 

They did not know if they expected costs to be higher this year because of the increased number of potholes. 

The mayor and other city officials said the city attorney's office would have that information. 

KTVU reached out to the City Attorney's office but did not immediately hear back. 

Residents can report a pothole by calling 311 or by clicking on Oak311.  

To file a claim with the City of Oakland for vehicle damage, residents can file the form electronically at claims@oaklandcityattorney.org, or send the form by mail to: Oakland City Attorney's Office, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 6th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612.