Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 54° Cloudy
News >  Pacific NW

Cars get trapped in tumbleweeds on Washington state highway

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 1, 2020

In this image taken Tuesday evening, Dec. 31, 2019, and provided by the Washington State Patrol, Washington State Department of Transportation using snow plows to remove a pile of tumbleweeds along State Route 240 near Richland, Wash. (Trooper Chris Thorson / AP)
In this image taken Tuesday evening, Dec. 31, 2019, and provided by the Washington State Patrol, Washington State Department of Transportation using snow plows to remove a pile of tumbleweeds along State Route 240 near Richland, Wash. (Trooper Chris Thorson / AP)
Associated Press

WEST RICHLAND, Wash. – Some people spent part of their New Year’s Eve trapped on a Washington state highway after tumbleweeds blocked their route, authorities said.

The Washington State Patrol announced via Twitter at about 6:30 p.m. that State Route 240 was closed in both directions near West Richland, YakTriNews reported.

Trooper Sarah Clasen told KAPP-KVEW that vehicles were trapped in a pile of tumbleweeds that stood up to 15 feet tall.

The state Department of Transportation used snow plows to clear the scene.

Trooper Chris Thorson said it took about 10 hours to clear the road, which opened again around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Thorson said five cars and one 18-wheel semi truck where trapped in the tumbleweeds. No injuries were reported.

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

Thorson said troopers found one abandoned car that was trapped in the tumbleweeds at daylight, but no one was inside.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.