By Eric Norwood Jr.
CMI staff writer
As Eastern New Mexico University student James Moreno pulled out of his home Monday morning in rural Roosevelt County, his normal route to work was blocked by a large pile of tumbleweeds.
“It pretty much blocked the four way. I had to take another route to work,” said Moreno.
Tumbleweeds littered streets, alleyways and yards across Roosevelt County on Monday, the result of a strong storm that pushed through the area late Sunday night and into Monday morning packing wind gusts of up to 60 mph, according to the National Weather Service In Albuquerque.
Roosevelt County Road Superintendent Ricky Lovato said workers will be dealing tumbleweeds for the considerable future, and said tumbleweeds will be a common until the end of spring when the wind doesn’t blow as much.
“We’ve been dealing with tumbleweeds for years,” Lovato said.
City of Portales Public Works director John DeSha said that tumbleweeds on private property are the responsibility of the landowner.
“Residents will have to take care of tumbleweeds at their homes the best they can. We just don’t have the men to devote to it,” said DeSha.
Lovato said that his crews have been using blades and tractors to run right over the tumbleweeds, which crushes them into smaller pieces until they eventually become dust.
“We use heavy equipment to run them over and smash them into nothing,” said Lovato.
Lovato did say that he recommends residents do not attempt to run over tumbleweeds with their vehicles because they could spark a fire from the exhaust.
“Tumbleweeds are just like snow, trying to clean up snow. It’s just a headache,” said Lovato.
Contact the county road maintenance department at 356-5942 to report tumbleweeds blocking roads.