Red Alert! It's Not A Zombie Massacre, But It's The Attack Of The Tumbleweed

Date April 23, 2018 17:08

Tumbleweed is a popular feature in Westerns, and it usually signifies large expanses of dry land. It is formed by several plants that bear similar characteristics. Tumbleweed is actually part of a plant with roots. The top part detaches itself from the roots and moves in the wind on its own.


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During the tumbling, seeds from the original plant fall off, and when it finds water or moisture, it germinates. The process starts all over again. Most of the tumbleweed in America arrived through migration from other continents. It can be found growing on roadsides, fields, and arid regions.

California is being invaded

There is a growing problem of tumbleweed in California. What started out as pockets of stubborn growths have blossomed into full-scale hostile takeovers. In Victorville, a town located 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles, tumbleweed is slowing taking over.

Some houses have tumbleweed growing up to two stories high. The situation is so bad, some residents have had to call in emergency services to get them out of their homes.

City code enforcement has been trying its best to haul away the offensive tumbleweed, but it seems like the high winds bring them right back.

It seems like every time we get the tumbleweeds cleared up, the wind blows and blows them right back again. It’s a nasty nightmare. - Bryan Bagwell, interview with Washington Post

Residents are very worried

Tanya Speight, a resident of Victorville, shared her concerns with KABC.

Normally you get a few flying down the street or whatnot, but never this many that will stack up even this much, and this is mild compared to what it was actually in the backyard and in the front of the house. So no, it’s never been this bad.

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Invasions like this are not unfamiliar. They occur when high winds are combined with dry weather. California has been experiencing high gusts for the past week. Victorville has been hit with winds of 60mph speed.

With the winds as strong as they are, as soon as they clear certain areas, more tumbleweeds are blowing right back in. - Sue Jones, city spokesperson

It is scary to wake up in the morning and find your front door barricaded by dry tumbleweed. Hopefully, the winds subside soon.

Citizens are fighting the tumbleweed

Besides the efforts made by city services, residents of Victorville are doing their best to fight the tumbleweed. Sadly, most residents can only clear the offensive plant from their property but cannot dispose of them.

According to the University of California’s Integrated Pest Management Program, Russian thistle tumbleweed is an invasive species brought by Russian immigrants to South Dakota in 1873. Well, seems like the Russians may have been planning an invasion for a long time.

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