These Travelers Spent First Night of 2020 Stranded Inside Giant Tumbleweed Pile


A few unsuspecting travelers got the surprise of their lives (or at least the surprise of the decade) when their cars got tangled in a massive pile of tumbleweeds on New Year’s Eve.

As high winds along State Route 240 in eastern Washington started to blow a collection of tumbleweeds onto the road late Tuesday night, several cars and a semi-truck slowed to let them pass, according to Washington State Patrol Trooper Chris Thorson.

Thorson wrote on Twitter that the winds were reaching nearly 50 miles per hour at the time approximately 20 miles west of Richmond, Washington.

As the weather continued to howl, it soon became clear that the tumbleweeds weren’t going anywhere.

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They quickly started to collect on the highway, forcing passing vehicles to come to a halt.

Brambles soon became so thick that the weeds began to completely surround drivers waiting in cars.

According to Thorson, the pile even reached between 20 and 30 feet in certain places.

Authorities closed the highway as crews from the Washington State Department of Transportation arrived and began working to free the vehicles that were already trapped, determined to help travelers get home safely.

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“People were still stuck at midnight and rung in the new year trapped under the weeds,” Thorson said, according to The Associated Press.

The bizarre incident lasted about 10 hours, according to Thorson and representatives from WSDOT, who wrote on Twitter that crews worked through the night to reopen the highway.

The WSDOT tweet called the clean-up “a pretty incredible sight” as crews used snowplows to clear the debris from the highway.

As daylight broke, workers discovered a final vehicle whose owners appeared to have abandoned it on the road as the tumbleweeds piled high.

“Luckily no one was in it,” Thorson said, sharing a video of the crews pulling tumbleweeds off the car.

He reported that workers were able to reopen the road around  4:30 a.m. on Wednesday, though WSDOT issued a warning for drivers passing through the area.

No injuries have been reported as a result of the tumbleweed pileup, or #tumblegeddon, as Thorson called it.

However, this is one New Year’s Eve those travelers won’t soon forget.

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Laura Stewart was an associate story editor and news and lifestyle contributor for The Western Journal.
Laura Stewart was an associate story editor and news and lifestyle contributor for The Western Journal.
Phoenix, AZ