Viral sensation 'Cone Weed' restored to former glory

- The "cone weed," the viral sensation responsible for inspiring others to raise thousands for charity, is back after it was removed by road crews. App users click here.

The "cone weed," literally a traffic cone with a weed growing through it, started growing over the summer on Beatties Ford Road, opposite the Huntersville Fire Department. It became famous after an unknown person placed Christmas decorations on the weed.

Photos of the hilarious sight began popping up on social media, with the hashtag #ConeWeed. The hashtag and the "weed" itself have become a full-flown sensation in Huntersville. 

On Monday morning, much to everyone's dismay, "cone weed" was gone. All that was left were a few decorations scattered near the road. 

"Sad news from the #Ville. #ConeWeed is gone. Residents reported seeing a road crew in a yellow truck remove it this morning," Huntersville Fire posted to Twitter Monday. "We did not see anything. We found a few decorations scattered along the ground; so we rehung those. We’re looking into what happened... #OneTownOneWeed."

As it turns out, crews with NCDOT had removed the "cone weed" because it was so close to the road without knowing its significance.

"Update: crews removed #ConeWeed since it was so close to the road. They didn't mean to be a Grinch and disrupt a positive community effort," NCDOT tweeted. "We're taking Cone Weed to @Huntersville_FD this afternoon for safe keeping. We hope Cone Weed continues to spread holiday cheer."

The good news: NCDOT was able to locate the remnants of the "cone weed" and return it to Huntersville Fire.

This  unofficial "sign of the season" is more than just a weed growing through a cone. In just six short days, "Cone weed" has helped raise nearly $8,000 for families in need thanks to a graphic designer who started selling #ConeWeed shirts. All profits going toward Hope.Match.org. 

"Happy to report that the remnants of #ConeWeed have been returned by @NCDOT to our Station 2. While the actual weed may be gone; it’s spirit lives on. We’re amazed that we raised close to $8,000 in the last 6 days of its existence, ALL for families in need. #OneTownOneWeed."

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