Australia: Intense Windstorm Flooded Melbourne with Tumbleweed

Nature

An intense windstorm in Melbourne over the weekend flooded the suburb town of Hillside with almost waist-deep tumbleweed, stunning the residents with amazement and inconvenience. 

The windstorm and tumbleweed flooding led to more than 200 calls to the State Emergency Service in the span of seven hours. 

Other than a storm of tumbleweed, residents also reported downed trees and damaged buildings, the local media reported. The windstorm also raised an urgent thunderstorm asthma warning, as Ambulance Victoria received numerous calls from people having difficulty breathing as the dust storm occurred. 

READ Study: In 2040, UK Won’t Have Snow Anymore 

Tumbleweed “Grass Storm” 

Australia: Intense Windstorm Flooded Melbourne with Tumbleweed

(Photo : Unsplash)
An intense windstorm in Melbourne over the weekend flooded the suburb town of Hillside with almost waist-deep tumbleweed, stunning the residents with amazement and inconvenience.

 A Hillside resident, Margaret Prosaic that the intense weather created a “grass storm” and described that the tumbleweed has completely taken over their backyard, and front yard. 

Residents reported that the winds tore through the suburb late in the morning, bringing in massive tumbleweeds. The winds continued until the evening, scattering tumbleweeds everywhere. 

The tumbleweed covered streets, yards, and pools and piled up in people’s front doors, preventing residents to get out using their entryways. 

Another resident, Madelyn Gauci said that she was playing on the trampoline in her yard when the windstorms brought the tumbleweeds. Gauci described the experience as “crazy”. But she said that despite the grass being “super itchy,” she enjoyed the unique grass storm as she was able to play with it. 

Another resident, Zoe Marchione, reported that his home was flooded with a massive pile of tumbleweed that she getting in or out of her home became impossible.

Claire Pigott, another resident also reported that tumbleweeds surrounded their entire backyard, as high as four meters in some areas. They could not see their dogs or could not get in their front door. 

READ ALSO: Risk of Coastal Flooding on Low-Cost Housing Triples by 2050

Cleaning up 

Another resident, Jane Borg said that she cannot open the front door for fear that it will fill her house. She thinks it’s a biohazard, and ”I am reluctant to put our heating or our cooling on because our unit is actually full of this at the back, ” she said. 

Tumbleweeds are also known as “hairy panic” or “witch grass” are reported to have been blown from a horse paddock located nearby, as residents suspect. The local council however refused to help homeowners clean up. 

Borg said they called the staff at the city of Melton council on Saturday but their calls remain unanswered. 

Other residents are bent to clean up the tumbleweed floods. 

Ms. Borg said she asked the council to send some trucks with workers to help lighten the load for the local community. 

Previous tumbleweed storms in Victoria 

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the tumbleweed storm or “hairy panic” is due to the recent dry weather, combined with windstorms. 

This is not the first time that this storm of tumbleweed hit the state of Victoria. 

In February 2016, residents of Wangaratta in Victoria’s north-east encountered also had the same predicament. Residents were reportedly overwhelmed from cleaning the weed in their homes only to reappear the next day. 

IN 2018, homeowners in Laceby, Wangaratta also had the same problem: the tumbleweeds were so dense that authorities were forced to close a major road outside one home.

Tumbleweeds can withstand a hot climate but it can quickly dissipate in the event of frost.

READ NEXT: Homes Made From Sandbags And Barbed Wire For Climate Crisis 

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