Tumbleweeds take over Colorado couple's property: 'Like a horror movie'
A Colorado couple said they are living in a "horror movie" after their property became inundated with tumbleweeds.
Their Colorado Springs-area property, including the front yard and driveway, has been "submerged" with tumbleweeds since Sunday, following strong winds over the weekend, making them feel "helpless," Marlies Gross told ABC News on Wednesday.
"It's a horrible situation," she said. "Like a horror movie."
"It's very eerie and very creepy," she added.
A high wind warning was in effect over the weekend for much of southern Colorado, with some areas seeing wind gusts as high as 60 mph, ABC Colorado Springs affiliate KRDO reported.
Gross said she and her husband experienced something similar about 10 years ago -- but not nearly as bad as this.
She said the tumbleweeds are so high that they come up to the windows of their home and they have been unable to open their front door. The trees on their property are also filled with tumbleweeds, she said.
"There's a mountain, and I mean a mountain on the right side of the driveway," she said of the tumbleweed pile-up.
The tumbleweeds enclosed the couple's car and blocked their access to the road, she said.
"I kind of panicked," said Gross, who feared she and her husband wouldn't be able to get out in the event of an emergency.
With the help of neighbors and volunteers, they were able to mow the tumbleweeds to clear part of the road and a path along their driveway, she said.
Gross said another neighbor was also inundated by tumbleweeds following the weekend's high winds.
Other El Paso County residents also reported tumbleweed troubles over the weekend, including in the Security-Widefield area.
Crews with the El Paso County Department of Public Works were out Sunday and Monday with mowers and plows to remove tumbleweeds from county rights-of-way, according to El Paso County spokesperson Vernon Stewart.
"The county does not remove tumbleweeds from private property," Stewart said in a statement to ABC News. "Unfortunately, the plant is widespread and beyond control as it is found in every state in the U.S., except Alaska and Florida."
Because tumbleweeds, aka Russian thistle, are not on Colorado's noxious weed list, the county is unable to enforce control of the plant, Stewart said.
"We encourage property owners to take preventive measures early in the season to mitigate plant growth on their property," he said.
Gross said she called the county and police for help, but was told that she and her husband are responsible for clearing the mess.
After obtaining several estimates, the cost to bring in a landscaper to shred and clear the tumbleweeds will run them $6,500, she said.
The landscaper was at the home tackling the tumbleweeds on Wednesday, she said.
"I hope I can see out the window again," Gross said. "When I look out it's nothing but tumbleweeds climbing up the window. It's a disaster."