When Tumbleweeds Attack

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tumbleweedsattacking When Tumbleweeds Attack

In this photo provided by Josh Pitman, hundreds of tumbleweeds blown by blizzard winds are piled up against Pitman’s home in Midland, Texas.
(AP Photo/Josh Pitman)

The headline may be humorous but what’s happening in parts of the American West isn’t funny at all.  Residents are facing what Reuters calls “an explosion of tumbleweeds” thanks to a perfect storm of conditions that has created a setting ripe for the rolling weeds.

A range land resources specialist calls them “opportunistic invaders that need just a little water to sprout,” and that’s what they got in September via some unexpected rain that caused the weeds to grow unchecked by livestock, as ranchers had moved the animals out of drought-plagued regions. If that weren’t enough enter the windstorms, which detach the weeds, once dried, from their roots and blow them all over the place—even trapping people inside their homes.

“I looked out the window to see why it got so dark all of a sudden, and they were over 12 feet high, blocking my front and back doors,” said a New Mexico man of a January storm. “We couldn’t get out.”

A town near Colorado Springs recently battled mounts 10 feet high, and KKCO reports that they’re more than just annoying: They’re also highly flammable; they can ignite when in contact with heated farm equipment, and homeowners have been advised to promptly move the weeds away from their exterior walls. “It has become a public safety issue,” said the president of an advocacy group in eastern Colorado who plans to lobby the federal and state governments for funding.

 When Tumbleweeds Attack
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Posted by on March 29, 2014. Filed under NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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3 Responses to When Tumbleweeds Attack

  1. Michael John Scott Reply

    March 29, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I had never heard of such a thing until I read this. Amazing.

  2. James Smith Reply

    March 29, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    What’s even more ironic is they re not even native to North America. Properly called, they are Russian Thistle.” That does not necessarily mean they are Russian or even thistle.

    It’s important to note that before the warhawks decide they are a communist plot to endanger our native western heritage. The one that post-dates the native American Apaches, Hopis, and Comanches, that is.

  3. Stacey Gray Reply

    March 29, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    ” homeowners have been advised to promptly move the weeds away from their exterior walls. ”

    So, just what does one do with a 12 foot high pile of hundreds of highly flammable tumbleweeds after one removes them from his/her walls? I can’t imagine that you stuff them in plastic bags and leave them out for the trash collection, and casting them to the winds seems somewhat unwise, if not futile. I would assume setting them alight would be equally unwise in said inhabited windy range areas.

    So, What does one do with them?

    And what kind atmospheric phenomena would pile up tumbleweeds on the front and back of a house at the same time?

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