Colorado Town Overran by Thousands of Tumbleweed

by Kati Kuuseoks
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When you hear that classic Western tune from “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” what are you picturing? Maybe a saloon, some horses, some chaps, and quick-draw guns? Fair enough. But don’t forget the tumbleweed.

It’s hard to find a classic Western without one or two scenes of them rolling across the screen. Well, speaking of tumbleweed– One Colorado town is getting a makeover just in time for Halloween as it gets overrun by thousands of tumbleweed. Here’s the story:

Apparently Tumbleweed Storms Are a Very Real Thing as This Colorado Town Just Found Out

Pueblo sits just off-center in Colorado’s Southeast corner. Their El Camino neighborhood also borders a vast, open prairie. With this geographical placement, the occasional tumbleweed is common. But what happens when a storm brings in thousands? One resident said of the situation: “This is something I’ve never seen before.” Tanya Musso continued: “I left about 11:30 yesterday and the wind was just blowing. And I got home at 1:30 and you couldn’t see the front of my house.” Turns out, the tumbleweed was so plentiful she couldn’t even reach her front door.

A little way down the block, other neighbors faced similar debacles. With help from others, David Wilson launched immediate clean-up efforts to clear the blocked roads. By hand, they tried stuffing pickup trucks with as much as they could. “We’ve lived here about 16 years and this is the worst we’ve ever seen the street,” he said. “And so this morning we rallied as a neighborhood and we just kinda started at the very front and we’re working our way down.”

You can see video footage of their street here.

How to Properly Dispose of Tumbleweed

Although Tanya Musso and David Wilson were able to clear most of their yards and neighborhood roads with the help of others, one small problem remained. Where does the tumbleweed go now? Apparently, the disposal of tumbleweed is a complicated issue, especially in a location like Colorado. Burning the tumbleweed is theoretically the simplest thing to do, but the close proximity to the prairie makes this way too dangerous. Lake Tahoe lost over $45 million dollars after just two weeks of the Caldor Fire’s destruction.

The next idea might involve taking the tumbleweed back to where they came from, but that’s not entirely feasible either. One more storm and they’d all be back overnight. So, what does that leave? Well, a quick call to the experts and the City of Pueblo Public Works Department arrived on the scene shortly thereafter.

Their Director, Andrew Hayes, chimed in: “We didn’t expect tumbleweeds to be the natural hazard that they’ve become today. But at this time, it’s at the point where this is more than one homeowner can manage in some cases. So, we’re going to be here to help our neighbors and get this taken care of today.”

He called in street sweepers, dump trucks, tractors, and loaders to help. Anyone else in need of assistance is encouraged to call 719-553-2295.

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