The Pueblo West View

Tumbleweed emergency declared for Pueblo County

CHIEFTAIN PHOTO/FILE
Paul Bregar drives his pickup truck along 40th Lane through a sea of tumbleweeds in this 2007 photograph.
CHIEFTAIN PHOTO/FILE Paul Bregar drives his pickup truck along 40th Lane through a sea of tumbleweeds in this 2007 photograph.

The Pueblo Board of County Commissioners unanimously announced what’s been pretty obvious to residents of rural Pueblo County since winter: The tumbleweeds are creating an emergency.

The commissioners voted 2-0 to approve a local emergency declaration regarding the tumbleweeds. Commissioner Terry Hart was absent and excused from the meeting.

So far, Pueblo County has spent about $250,000 to clear out the tumbleweeds, particularly those blocking entire portions of roads in the northeast corner of the county, said Public Works Director Alf Randall.

But Monday’s declaration was mostly part of an effort by a number of Southern Colorado counties to bring the attention of the state government to the problem.

While the northeast portion of the county has it the worst, tumbleweeds have become a problem in other areas of Pueblo County, including Pueblo West and areas along Little Burnt Mill Road and Swallows Road.

If the winter of 2013 seemed to have produced a bumper crop of the tumbleweeds, that only means the winter of 2014 could be as bad or worse, Randall said.

Even if no state money comes available to deal with the problem this year, there’s hope that the emergency declaration will put the counties ahead of schedule when the winter storms pick up this year.

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