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Cars get trapped in tumbleweeds on Washington state highway

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

YakTriNews reported that 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.

Trooper Sarah Clasen told KAPP-KVEW that vehicles were trapped in a pile of tumbleweeds that stood up to 15 feet (4.57 meters) 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 says 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 Wednesday that troopers found one abandoned car that was trapped in the tumbleweeds at daylight but no one was inside.