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Tumble-mageddon: Tumbleweeds overwhelm Utah neighborhoods, roads

High winds caused tumbleweeds to engulf streets, highways and neighborhoods in parts of Utah and Nevada over the weekend.

Videos shared online show massive amounts of tumbleweeds swarming parts of Utah, even stacking several feet high around homes. In Pahrump − just outside of Death Valley National Park − tumbleweeds could be seen sweeping roads in every direction.

Severe weather brought wind gusts of over 60 mph to the western U.S., knocking down trees, damaging infrastructure and causing power outages.

Residents of South Jordan, south of Salt Lake City, were among the people forced to plough the mess before city officials arrived with support.

Tumbleweeds overwhelm a Utah town.
Tumbleweeds overwhelm a Utah town.

Officials provide dumpsters to dispose tumbleweeds

South Jordan officials set up several dumpster locations dedicated exclusively to tumbleweeds as they worked on clearing roads. A city representative told USA TODAY on Monday that the situation is being managed with a solid rotation of the designated dumpsters.

Farther south, roads and neighborhoods in Eagle Mountain were also flooded by the prickly debris. City officials said residents are responsible for clearing tumbleweeds off their property but could ask for assistance if the quantity is excessive.

"The city strongly discourages pushing the tumbleweeds into the street. This will not get them cleared any faster and creates traffic safety issues in the community," officials wrote on Facebook.

Incident named 'tumble-mageddon' and 'tumbleweed takeover'

The invasion has left many referring to the incident as "tumble-mageddon' or 'tumbleweed takeover."

One X user said on Sunday that South Jordan looked like a scene of a Western movie and called it "Mother nature's tumbleweed takeover."

“Luckily, it’s something we can handle,” South Jordan communications manager Rachel Van Cleave told local outlet KSL-TV. "This is not our first tumble-megaddon."

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What is a tumbleweed made of

Tumbleweeds start out as a bright green thistle that is popular among mice, pronghorns and bighorn sheep. After maturing and dying, the remains the succulent plant break off at the root and are blown away by wind.

As they moves wherever the wind takes them, tumbleweeds disperse as many as 250,000 seeds. Unlike most seeds, these weeds don't have a protective cover or stored food reserves but rather contain a coiled, miniature plant in a thin membrane.

Contributing: Clay Thompson, The Arizona Republic

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tumbleweed takes over Utah neighborhoods, roads in 'tumble-mageddon'