By Christina Hager

LYNNFIELD (CBS) – A huge pothole on Route One in Lynnfield had tow-truck driver Daniel Rice jumping into his truck early Thursday morning. When he got to the scene near the I-95 overpass, it was a mess.

State Police say there were between 20 and 30 vehicles impacted. “They were trying to avoid it, and hit it, and one after the other,” Rice said.

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Commuters took to social media. “This destroyed two of my wheels,” said one driver. “This made for a pretty terrifying (and expensive) commute,” said another, who shared a picture of her flat tire.

It caused back-ups for hours, as crews, including Rice, changed tires. “Just doing one by one, by one, by one, just walking down the street,” he said. “We went down the list of who needed help first, and we got everyone back on the road,” he said.

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A lane on the southbound side of Route One stayed closed for hours as MassDOT repaired the hole.

Experts say record rainfall is taking a toll on roads this season. “That tire pressure, when the water can’t go anywhere, is terrible for asphalt. It would open up cracks,” said Worcester Polytechnic Institute professor Nima Rahbar.

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He likens the ground to a sponge that’s beyond saturation. “Imagine the sponge if you really push it hard, the water would want to expand and damage the structure.”

Christina Hager