Tumbleweed invasion

Here’s a crazy travel story for the New Year that’s not about flying, but about driving.

 Truck surrounded by tumbleweeds near Richland Washington. Photo: Washington State Patrol Trooper C. Thorson

On Tuesday night – New Year’s Eve – at least five cars and an eighteen-wheeler truck got trapped in a bizarre, giant pile-up of tumbleweeds on a rural, central Washington State highway.

According to the Washington State Patrol, the tumbleweed invasion was so serious that the highway had to be closed for 10 hours, trapping the drivers inside their cars until 4:30 a.m. New Year’s Day.

Washington State Trooper Chris Thorson told the YakkTriNews that strong winds blew tumbleweeds into an area with berms near the roadway and that caused the tumbleweeds to clog the highway.

There were so many tumbleweeds on the road that when cars stopped to avoid hitting the tumbleweeds they ended up getting buried by them.

How did they get rid of the tumbleweeds?

Snowplows were brought in to clear the tumbleweeds and free the trapped drivers and their vehicles.

According to the State Patrol, the tumbleweed heap reached 30 feet tall and was hundreds of yards long.