ELKHART -

After an extreme winter, many communities find themselves with a bumper crop of potholes.

In Elkhart, the problem is so severe, the city says it will have to pave over many of them, doubling the amount of money needed for paving projects this year.

Drivers say there seems to be more potholes from this winter than in years' past.

"Since the weather has been bad, there's been a lot of potholes that you have to dodge," said Brian Malone. "That's one thing we really need to work on here in Elkhart.

Mayor Dick Moore is aware of the problem. On Monday, he took a tour of some of the worst areas.

"It's through no fault of our own," noted Moore. "It's one of those things that you live with in this part of the country, and it finally caught up with us, and we are going to have to spend some extra dollars to get it done."

The city says the pothole problem on Elkhart's streets is the worst in 20 years. Because there are so many, patching won't be able to address the problem this time around.

Moore says paving them will have to be the way to go. 

Right now, the city has budgeted $1 million for paving work this calendar year, but to repair extra roads damaged by the extreme winter, the city would need to double that to $2 million. The city needs to somehow find another $1 million.

"We can't take the million dollars that we normally do for the regular paving list and put it into extra work," Moore added. "So, this is all additional. This damage would cost you additional dollars that we have to find in order to get it done if we don't get some help from the federal system."

"I know it's hard to get all the potholes at one time, but that's something we need to work on," said Malone. 

Mayor Moore used to be Elkhart's street commissioner. He told WSBT he never dealt with a pothole problem this bad in his 12 years as head of that department.