'Hairy panic' tumbleweed afflicts Australian city

Residents of the Australian city of Wangaratta are tunnelling to their front doors through small mountains of tumbleweeds dubbed the 'hairy panic.'

Tumbleweeds are regular problem for Wangaratta, but dry conditions are making this summer 'worst'

Wangaratta is full of tumbleweeds and locals have dubbed the phenomenon: The ‘hairy panic,’ prompting many shaving-related snickers on social media. (Reuters)

Attack of the tumbleweeds

While Ottawa was digging out from a record-setting snowfall Wednesday, the Australian city of Wangaratta, 230 kilometres northeast of Melbourne, was being buried by a far drier phenomenon: tumbleweeds.

Dubbed the 'hairy panic,' the fast-growing plant dies, dries, then blows away.

As winds pick up — which they do this time of year in Victoria — the tumbleweeds collect on properties, frustrating residents.

Local media in the Australian state of Victoria reported that the tumbleweed has been around for years, but extra dry conditions have made this summer the worst. (Reuters)

The tumbleweeds aren't a fire risk, so locals are on the hook for cleanup costs.

Residents of Wangaratta suspect that the tumbleweed is coming from a nearby field that a farmer has failed to maintain, local media reported. (Reuters)

#Hairypanic has been trending on Twitter, mostly inspiring humorous responses:

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