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Pueblo neighborhood buried in tumbleweeds

pueblo tumbleweeds
Posted at 10:24 AM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 12:38:53-04

PUEBLO, Colo. — Pueblo's El Camino neighborhood started a major clean-up effort Wednesday after wind from Tuesday's storm blew thousands of tumbleweeds into the area.

The neighborhood borders an open prairie on the city's southwest side.

Homeowners said they've endured tumbleweed storms before, but never this bad.

"This is something I've never seen before," said resident Tanya Musso.

The weeds piled up in her yard so quickly that she couldn't reach her front door.

"I left about 11:30 a.m. yesterday and the wind was just blowing. And I got home at 1:30 p.m. and you couldn't see the front of my house," she said.

Just up the block on Pascadero Drive, David Wilson and other neighbors were stuffing the back of pickup trucks with armloads of weeds that had been blocking the road.

"We've lived here about 16 years and this is the worst we've ever seen the street," he said. "And so, this morning, we rallied as a neighborhood and we just kind of started at the very front and we're working our way down."

The trouble with tumbleweeds is finding a way to dispose of them. Burning the weeds is too dangerous. Dumping them back in the prairie could mean they'd blow right back.

Unlike a snowstorm, the weeds won't simply melt away.

Wilson and the others were trying to crush the brittle branches with a board to keep them from flying away. Musso and her nextdoor neighbor shared the cost of renting a roll-away dumpster.

Denver7 news partners KOAA reached out to the City of Pueblo Public Works Department to see if they could offer the neighborhood any guidance on what to do.

"When you contacted us, we came out to look. And situations like the one behind me are exactly what we came to see," said Public Works Director Andrew Hayes.

At least one homeowner in the area struggles with mobility issues. Hayes said the unusual volume of tumbleweeds prompted a city response.

"We didn't expect tumbleweeds to be the natural hazard that they've become today," Hayes explained. "But at this time, it's at the point where this is more than one homeowner can manage in some cases. So, we're going to be here to help our neighbors and get this taken care of today."

Hayes brought in street sweepers, tractors, dump trucks, and loaders to try and haul away the weedy mess. He encouraged the neighbors to pile as many of them into the street as possible so that it would be easier to reach for the heavy equipment.

Homeowners in need of special assistance with tumbleweed removal are encouraged to contact the city's public works department at 719-553-2295.