A dozen drivers suffered damage to their cars Thursday morning after striking a massive pothole on Renaud Road in the east end. 

The water filled pothole claimed several tires and hubcaps after unsuspected drivers ran into it during the morning commute. Elaine Breeze was one of those drivers.

"There was a huge thud and it scared the bejesus out of me," Breeze said. " Then I saw up ahead and there were four or five others on the road. That's when I realized I hit a pothole."

Breeze said she wasn’t immediately sure what happened, but noticed her tire was flat and needed changing. When she went back to the scene, a short while later, she said about a dozen cars with their four way flashers on had pulled over to the side of the road.

"Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. That's the first tire I've ever changed and I'm pretty proud of myself." 

The city of Ottawa told CTV Ottawa the potholes started appeared at the very end of December following the freezing rain event on December 26th. It said November and much of December were normal, but the recent freezing rain storms combined with a deep freeze have opened up the pavement in certain spots. 

18 city crews are on pothole patrol. Recent data was not available today, but the city said its crews filled more than 254,000 potholes in 2016, up from a three year average of roughly 209,000 potholes. 

Senior Assistant Manager at Kal Tire on Sheffield Rd said there is often damage that cannot be seen with the naked eye. He said drivers have already starting coming with pothole damage to their tires and rims.

"A lot of times they are surprised there is a lot more than just a tire that needs to be fixed," Hull said. 

If you spot a pothole, experts suggest you call 311 so the city knows where they are. If you hit one, you are asked to pull over whenever it is safe, before checking your car for damage.