HOUSTON -

The Texas Department of Transportation issued an emergency road closure on IH 610 North Loop westbound near Ella Wednesday after a large pothole opened, causing damage to several cars.

A big chunk of concrete came out of a lane leaving only some rebar showing. It is unclear what caused the hole, but crews worked with heavy equipment and materials to make the necessary repairs to the concrete.

At least five vehicles sustained damage after hitting the hole. Tires were shredded and wheels were bent.

"I tried to swerve around it," driver Mickel Alvarez said. "There was nothing I could do. I just crashed into it and busted my rim up."

Some drivers were able to change their tires and get on their way, but others had to get a tow truck.

"I need three new rims," one driver said. "One is destroyed. I can't even drive on them."

Just before rush hour, TxDOT closed down three inside westbound lanes and warned motorists to expect significant delays and avoid the area if possible.

Officials have not said what caused the hole.

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