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Colorado tumbleweeds overrun drought areas

Authorities near Ordway, Colo., tried to move tumbleweeds around with trucks in an effort to keep roads clear for motorists and to allow emergency vehicles to get though.
Authorities near Ordway, Colo., tried to move tumbleweeds around with trucks in an effort to keep roads clear for motorists and to allow emergency vehicles to get though.Crowley County/Associated Press/file/ 2013

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ORDWAY, Colo. (AP) — Mini-storms of tumbleweed have invaded the drought-stricken prairie of southern Colorado, blocking rural roads and irrigation canals, and briefly barricading homes and an elementary school.

Firefighters even had to cut a path through them to get to a pregnant woman who feared she’d be trapped in her home if she went into labor.

The invasion of the tumbleweed, an iconic symbol of both the West’s rugged terrain and the rugged cowboys who helped settle it, has conjured images of the Dust Bowl of 80 years ago, when severe drought unleashed them onto the landscape.

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