Cars, Semi-Truck Swallowed by Tumbleweeds Piled up to 30 Feet High in Washington
Tumbleweeds are the lone wolves of herbaceous plants, rotating with subtle, stoic bounce across the horizon of every non-Arizonian's mental shortcut of Arizona. But not all tumbleweeds are in Arizona, nor do they all opt for solo travel, as was sufficiently proven in an incident that occurred on New Year's Eve, when a tumbleweed attack closed a highway in Washington state for several hours.
On the evening of December 31, multiple drivers needed to be rescued after getting trapped on State Route 240. The tumbleweeds had piled up to about 30 feet. Officials were forced to close the road around 6:30pm near West Richland, Washington, according to a report by CBS News.
Our crews are continuing to keep watch on SR 240 and the tumbleweed impacts there. They will be patrolling through this evening to help keep the road open to traffic. Please take care if you choose to travel through this area as winds continue to move the tumbleweeds around. pic.twitter.com/d6dlQPvESL— WSDOT East (@WSDOT_East) January 1, 2020
Troopers told KVEW that the incident was caused by strong winds blowing the tumbleweeds into an area of land that separates two areas by virtue of its topographical distinction (otherwise known as a berm), causing many tumbleweeds to move in a similar route and congregate on the highway. Cars stopped when drivers saw the buildup and were promptly buried.
Trooper Chris Thorson said one more car was found trapped and abandoned on Wednesday morning. No injuries were reported, but five cars and one semi-truck were trapped in the brillo pad snow.
#tumblegeddon After 10 hours of SR 240 being closed last night on New Year’s Eve, it was opened around 0430 thanks to @WSDOT_East We still have one abandon car trapped in the tumbleweeds that was found at daylight, luckily no one was in it. pic.twitter.com/df7XbnqafE— Trooper C. Thorson (@wspd3pio) January 1, 2020