Victorville is a city in Southern California with a population of around 120,000. Sources say that the residents there feel like the tumbleweed population is overtaking the human population. Victorville homeowner Bryan Bagwell said that some of his fellow residents had to call the city and even 911 because their properties were so flooded with the thorny balls of branches that people were unable to exit their homes.
“A couple of them did call 911,” Bagwell said. “I thought that was a little excessive. But some of them freaked out when they opened their door and there was a wall of tumbleweeds. It’s multiple layers of tumbleweeds. It’s like a mountain of tumbleweeds. I mean, you’re buried underneath it.”
Residents have complained about getting scratched and scraped, and some have even suffered puncture wounds because of the tumbleweeds.
Bagwell said that he believes there are options for city officials to combat this thorny problem. “They can drag the fills,” he said. “They can drag the fills. They can spray herbicides to kill the weeds. They can mow the field down. The fire department can come out here and light it on fire to practice putting out forest fires. I don’t know… something’s got to be done.”
Tumbleweeds are typically synonymous with abandoned small towns or lonely stretches of land. While Victorville's location puts it in SoCal's "High Desert", the city is thriving with families and small businesses which the tumbleweeds are currently wreaking havoc upon.
Bagwell went on to describe the daily life with the troublesome tumbleweeds as a "sea of tumbleweeds" and said that he had to drive to his son's school which is just a mile away to pick him up due to the current situation. He said he saw some tumbleweeds doing 25 to 30 miles per hour as he drove alongside them.
He described driving through them as having "a group of people lined up on the side of the road and throwing dodgeballs at you as you're driving. You have to swerve out of the way of the larger ones and run the little ones over." He added, "It was like a war zone."