Drivers who unexpectedly slam into a pothole on D.C. streets can sometimes get the city to pay for the damage, and last year, one driver got more than $6,000.

Factors such as heavy rains and freeze-thaw cycles have led to an early pothole season this winter, District Department of Transportation Director Jeff Marootian told a D.C. Council committee this week. “My biggest priority is just filling potholes, getting those hazards removed as quickly as possible.”

More than half of the District’s roughly 1,000 miles of local roads and alleys, and more than a third of its 450 miles of federally funded roads, are rated as being in poor or fair condition.