Over the weekend, Colorado residents Marlies Gross and her husband found themselves in a horror movie brought to life. Rather than fighting off a horrifying monster or masked murderer, however, they faced an army of plant corpses – tumbleweeds.
One tumbleweed? No problem. Ten? Still manageable. Thousands of them, however, present a serious issue, especially when blown against your home by heavy winds.
When Marlies Gross opened her front door on Sunday morning, she couldn’t believe her eyes. There were tumbleweeds as far as the eye could see – coating her yard, flooding her driveway, drowning her car. The tumbleweeds had accumulated to such an extent, in fact, that they towered over her, blocking her from exiting her home.
Knowing there was no way she and her husband could rid their yard of the sea of tumbleweeds alone, she went to the backdoor to venture to her neighbor’s home for help. To her horror, however, they were blocking that exit as well. There was no way out.
“I opened the front door and it’s whole tumbleweeds. It was full of tumbleweeds,” Gross recalled to KRDO. “We couldn’t even get out of here. You kind of almost, you know, you feel helpless. I thought it was a bad dream.”
Eventually, Gross was able to reach her car, but the mountain of tumbleweeds nearly caused her to wreck. “I almost ran into the neighbor’s fence because I didn’t know where I was,” she said. “You had to fight yourself through the tumbleweeds, which were above the car.”
“It’s very eerie and very creepy,” she explained. “We still can’t walk anywhere. I don’t know what we’re going to do, how we get rid of those tumbleweeds. Oh, it’s horrible.”
Another Colorado Resident’s Property Was Buried by Tumbleweeds
Though no doubt one of the worst invasions in the area, Marlies Gross wasn’t the only resident of Southern Colorado to fall victim to the flood of tumbleweeds. Another local, Ian Barnes, walked into his yard on Sunday morning to find his car and home completely buried by the roving dead plants.
“I looked out my backyard, it didn’t seem so bad,” Barnes explained to KKTV. “And then I went out the front yard and it was pretty crazy.”
“I just kind of muscled through it,” he continued. “It wasn’t… They’re not too bad. There are a lot of stickers and stuff, but not too bad to get through.”
Winds in the area exceeded speeds of 60 mph for hours, creating a blanket of Russian Thistle throughout the area. “El Paso County Department of Public Works have had crews out [Sunday] and [Monday] removing tumbleweeds from El Paso County rights-of-way,” explained Natalie Sosa, Deputy Director of Communications.
Unfortunately for residents like Marlies Gross and Ian Barnes, however, tumbleweeds are not on Colorado’s Noxious Weed list. As such, it’s up to individuals to limit their growth, despite the weeds being “widespread and beyond control.”