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NY woman tackles pothole problem by planting pansies there

Elaine Santore fills a pothole in the middle

Elaine Santore fills a pothole in the middle of North Center St. with pansies in Schenectady, N.Y, on April 13, 2015. Photo Credit: AP / Marc M. Schultz

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - An upstate New York woman has taken on the post-winter pothole problem in her hometown by filling in the eyesores with pansies.

After months of severe weather left the streets of Schenectady pocked with pavement craters and city public works crews scrambling to fix them, some residents began filling in the holes themselves.

Elaine Santore decided to take it a step further by dumping dirt and pansies into potholes on two streets. She told The Daily Gazette of Schenectady that she decided to plant the flowers to make a statement about the problem and to make people smile after what she called "a horrible winter."

Of the 10 holes she filled with flowers over three days starting Monday, Santore told The Associated Press on Friday that she believed all have now been fixed by city crews. When she drove past on her way to work, most of the holes had been patched over with blacktop, she said.

"I knew something would happen to them," she said. "Either people would take the flowers or they would be filled in."

Santore, the director of a local not-for-profit organization that helps retirees remain in their homes, said she wanted to do something different to address her city's annual pothole problem, one that has been particularly widespread thanks to a harsh winter.

"The winter was so hard on everybody and so depressing," she said. "I wanted to do something creative to solve a problem we have every year and bring a smile to people's faces."


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