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Troublesome tumbleweed cleanup

By Olivia Wilmsen, Multimedia Journalist, olivia.wilmsen@krdo.com
Published On: Nov 17 2013 10:27:17 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 17 2013 11:44:09 PM CST

Southern Colorado is cleaning up the tumbleweed trouble. Strong winds whipped up a "tumbleweed invasion" on Saturday, especially in eastern El Paso County. Now, there’s the challenge of sweeping those tumbleweeds away.

YODER, Colo. -

Southern Colorado is cleaning up the tumbleweed trouble. Strong winds whipped up a "tumbleweed invasion" on Saturday, especially in eastern El Paso County. Now, there’s the challenge of sweeping those tumbleweeds away.

Getting rid of tumbleweeds is no easy task. They pile up and stick to each other latching onto fences, homes, even your car. The only way to get rid of tumbleweeds: push them aside and hope the wind takes them somewhere else.

A giant pile of tumbleweeds lines the horn family property in Yoder. Compare that to Saturday (11/16/13) when in only one hour, tumbleweeds topped their home and driveway.

"I've talked to my grandpa and they've never seen tumbleweeds this bad. Ever,” said friend Clinton Phipps.

Tumbleweeds stacked one on top of another on top of another.

"They were so packed over here in the driveway. They were about 25 feet deep."

The Horns are happy to have Clinton Phipps as a friend.

It was, “hectic, hard, sweat, heat, wind, cold,” spending the whole day moving the troublesome tumbleweeds.

"We worked our tailbones off all day and yesterday there was nothing we could do except wait for the wind to stop,” said Phipps.

Meanwhile, the county was working hard on the roads.

"We've used just about every piece of equipment we have whether it's for mowing or snow removal. Nothing seems to have a real great effect,” said El Paso County Operations Manager Max Kirschbaum.

Kirschbaum is no weed expert, but he thinks the culprit is the weather.

"We went through such a hard drought period and then that heavy rain period that really caused them to grow."

The Horns couldn't allow their massive pile to grow anymore.

"You're stuck until you deal something with it. You got to just keep moving them and hope the wind blows them onto the next guy,” said Phipps.”

That's the only solution the county and other agencies can offer.

The county says it will never recommend burning tumbleweeds. It's simply too dry and windy to safely burn them.

As we head into the winter season, snow could be an issue with those tumbleweeds building up in ditches and around homes. The county says it will do everything it can to keep the ditches clear.

Miami-Yoder Elementary School also was toppled with tumbleweeds.

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