DIGEST

Informer: Floods, fires and a pandemic? Must be December in Australia

BoM meteorologist Dean Narramore said the Snowy River was
BoM meteorologist Dean Narramore said the Snowy River was "of particular concern" in NSW and Victoria during his Friday update on the severe weather.

We have floods in the east, fires in the west, a pandemic all over and Christmas on the horizon.

It must be December in Australia.

La Nina is wreaking havoc across Australia's eastern states with flash flooding and severe storms lashing parts of Queensland, Victoria and NSW.

Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Dean Narramore issued a major flood warning for parts of south-eastern NSW and eastern Victoria.

Some residents of northern NSW have also been told to prepare for evacuation as flooding looks likely.

Over in Western Australia an emergency warning remains in place for the tourist region of Margaret River.

More than 100 firefighters are battling the out-of-control Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park bushfire - which has already burnt more than 6000 hectares.

Campgrounds, wineries, national parks and homes were evacuated on Thursday as the WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services warned: "You are in danger and need to act immediately to survive. There is a threat to lives and homes".

The fire broke out on Wednesday morning and quickly took hold in dense forest. It was fanned by hot, gusty winds.

However, WA Police say it is still too soon to determine the cause of the blaze, and that the cause of the fire will be investigated only begin once it was under control.

Evacuated homeowner Jade O'Shea said he was "taking no chances".

"I was driving back to Karridale from Margaret River about midday, watching how bloody angry the smoke plume was," he said.

"It looked like a volcanic eruption! The closer to Karridale I got the scarier it looked, and after a quick call to my wife, who was at work, I went straight to the school and grabbed our kids.

"I went home, packed one bag each and a pillow, and both dogs and the cat."

In the Northern Territory, the COVID-19 outbreak remains a concern. Four new cases of the virus were detected in the NT today after health workers launched a testing blitz in the Katherine region.

In Victoria, two more cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in travellers who returned from overseas.

NSW recorded no Omicron cases today, but notched up more than 500 new COVID-19 cases.

Just how are we meant to finish our Christmas shopping with all of this going on?

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