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Debris-strewn roads no problem - The Galveston County Daily News: Hurricane Season

February 11, 2016

Debris-strewn roads no problem

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Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2015 6:45 am

People with trucks and SUVs were feeling vindicated after Hurricane Ike when roads that weren’t covered with water were covered with mud.

But even people in Jeeps with snorkel kits attached were driving around on four weak links — the tires.

One thing that was not in short supply after Ike was nails, wood screws, weird springs and all manner of other debris that can penetrate a steel-belted tire. So, unless you’ve invested the several thousand dollars it takes to get run-flat tires like the U.S. Ambassador to Baghdad, you’re going to have to be able to fix a flat.

Some people swear by that injectable foam. Others just don’t trust it and opt instead for an emergency plug kit. They sell for about $5 at most auto parts stores and consist of a knurled spike to bore out the hole for a plug, a big needle for pushing the plug into the hole and the plugs — strips of rubber or leather coated in glue. An advantage of the plugs, and the foam, is that you can fix the flat without taking the wheel off the car or the tire off the wheel.

An then there’s the air. Don’t count on finding a working compressor after the water recedes. To be safe, buy a portable compressor that charges off a car system.

They cost between $50 and $150 and models are available from auto parts stores. Some also will jump-start a car, charge a cellphone and provide an emergency light.

They work well; it takes a little time to get a truck tire back to full pressure, but not an unreasonable amount.