Watch: Thousands of tumbleweeds inundate Utah town

Drone video captures a sight that looks more like a ghost town covered in tumbleweeds in Utah after a windstorm.

SOUTH JORDAN CITY, Utah – Residents had trouble opening front doors Saturday after strong winds blew in thousands of tumbleweeds. A neighborhood was literally surrounded.

"A few neighborhoods woke up to a big surprise of thousands of tumbleweeds," drone pilot Chris Williams told Storyful.

Folks tried to battle the masses with rakes, shovels and gloves. Ultimately, the town needed to call in heavy equipment, a backhoe. Video shows city crews alongside homeowners trying to get the upper hand on the invasion with winds still blowing and snow falling.


"We wanted to give a huge shout-out to our South Jordan Streets Division! Their quick response to help residents, providing dumpsters and clearing roads, was amazing," posted the city on Facebook. "They worked through the wind and snow to get things cleared and are still working today." 

So far, the city put out three 30-yard dumpsters and four 15-yard dumpsters to clear the onslaught. The town reported that they had 13 landfill runs with those dumpsters "and counting."


"It's been a remarkable day for wind," posted the NWS Salt Lake City on social media Saturday.

Hurricane-force wind gusts battered communities east and south of Salt Lake City. The highest wind gust reported was 92 mph in the Wasach National Forest.

Tumbleweeds are most associated with the Desert West and come from the Russian thistle plant. The bushy plant grows and flowers in the summer before drying out in autumn, according to Columbia University. When the plant breaks at the soil line, it becomes a tumbleweed, and the wind disperses the plant throughout the landscape. This spreads up to 250,000 seeds as the tumbleweed travels.