Tumbleweeds blocked a Washington state highway, trapping people in their cars

Article Image

Several people got trapped in their cars on New Year's Eve after strong winds blew a thicket of tumbleweeds into a portion of a state highway, according to Washington State Patrol Trooper Chris Thorson.

Posted: Jan 1, 2020 5:32 PM


This is probably not the way motorists in Washington state wanted to spend their New Year's Eve.

Several people got trapped in their cars Tuesday after strong winds blew a thicket of tumbleweeds into a portion of a state highway, according to Washington State Patrol Trooper Chris Thorson.

Several vehicles and one semi truck slowed down because of low visibility and eventually came to a stop, Thorson said. Then they got covered in tumbleweeds, rendering them unable to proceed.

The piles of tumbleweeds were as high as 20 to 30 feet in some places, Thorson said, blocking SR 240 around mile post 10, about 20 miles west of Richland in the south-central part of the state.

Crews from the Washington state Department of Transportation worked through the night to help clear the roadway. The road was closed for about 10 hours and reopened around 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Thorson said.

One car was found trapped in the tumbleweeds after the sun rose, but it had been abandoned by its driver, he said. No injuries were reported.

"A pretty incredible sight from SR 240 where tumbleweed closed he road for 10hours last night," the Washington State Department of Transportation East tweeted. "Big thanks to our crews who worked through the night to clear roadway."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 4243

Reported Deaths: 153
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah116559
Marion96025
Washington73917
Clackamas31211
Deschutes1250
Umatilla1163
Linn1159
Polk9812
Lane733
Yamhill707
Jackson660
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath440
Jefferson330
Malheur320
Coos310
Douglas270
Wasco241
Josephine231
Hood River180
Columbia160
Lincoln120
Morrow110
Curry70
Union60
Tillamook60
Crook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 111951

Reported Deaths: 4172
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles550012362
Riverside7486323
San Diego7481269
Orange6261147
San Bernardino5246204
Alameda339096
Santa Clara2776141
San Francisco258842
Kern225038
San Mateo210484
Tulare184484
Fresno174335
Santa Barbara164912
Imperial163427
Contra Costa145037
Sacramento140056
Ventura107833
San Joaquin85834
Kings7464
Stanislaus74429
Sonoma5534
Monterey53010
Solano51722
Marin48314
Merced2837
San Luis Obispo2691
Placer2159
Santa Cruz2132
Yolo21124
Napa1123
Madera1062
Humboldt1013
El Dorado900
San Benito872
Sutter462
Del Norte450
Butte440
Nevada411
Shasta394
Mono371
Mendocino300
Yuba301
Lake210
Inyo201
Amador190
Mariposa161
Glenn160
Calaveras150
Siskiyou70
Colusa50
Lassen50
Tuolumne40
Plumas40
Tehama41
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 64°
Brookings
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 56°
Crater Lake
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 58°
Grants Pass
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 61°
Klamath Falls
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 58°
Isolated showers and storms Monday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events