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Washington state motorists trapped by tumbleweed storm


The Washington State Department of Transportation on Tuesday used snow plows to remove piles of tumbleweeds along State Route 240 near Richland, Wash. Associated Press/Photo by Trooper Chris Thorson/Washington State Patrol

Washington state motorists trapped by tumbleweed storm

A tumbleweed or two might bring a sense of nostalgia for the Wild West, but thick drifts of them along a Washington state highway became a hazard on New Year’s Eve. Piles rising up to 30 feet of the seed-dropping plant trapped vehicles, including a tractor-trailer, along State Route 240.

What did stranded motorists do? Calls to 911 began around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, but rescuers couldn’t reach some people until midnight. To pass the time, some took to social media using the hashtag #tumblegeddon. Authorities closed the road for 10 hours as workers used snowplows to clear the brush.

Dig deeper: Read about a tumbleweed pileup in 1989 that buried entire houses in South Dakota.


Samantha Gobba

Samantha is a freelancer for WORLD Digital. She is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute, holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Hillsdale College, and has a multiple-subject teaching credential from California State University. Samantha resides in Chico, Calif., with her husband and their two sons.

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