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Informer: Tornadoes sure put a spin on things

A tornado struck NSW overnight causing significant damage in a regional town.
A tornado struck NSW overnight causing significant damage in a regional town.

Weather can really set the mood.

There's those balmy spring days with a light breeze that are perfect for spending some time in the garden.

There's hot, sun-soaked beach days; and grey, wet days ideal for curling up on the couch with a scary movie.

And then there's tornadoes...

Residents in Armidale experienced the "terror" and "horror" of a tornado ripping through the northern NSW town last night.

Roofs were torn off houses, cars were crushed and emergency services worked through the night to restore power.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 has continued its downpour across Australia with the Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein announcing a snap lockdown of the state's south.

The lockdown was announced after a NSW man, who tested positive for COVID, escaped from Tasmanian hotel quarantine on Monday.

Gutwein said the man was not cooperating, which led to inconsistencies and non disclosure of information.

"We can't continue to wait to find out what has been going on ... on Public Health advice, as a result of the circumstances we now face, there will be a three-day snap lockdown in southern Tasmania," he said.

Tassie is yet to experience an outbreak, and if there is anything to be learned from NSW and VIC locking the state down quickly could very well prevent the worst.

VIC Premier Dan Andrews said the state government would continue to pursue its roadmap to reopening despite the surge - with more than 80 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and over having had their first jab.

"We have, fundamentally, a very important agreement with the Victorian community: you get vaccinated and we will open up," he said.

Guess he didn't have his fingers crossed behind his back when he made that promise, hey?

However, the virus couldn't rain on Canberra's parade today with the territory celebrating its own 'Freedom Day'.

Some keen Canberrans even headed out at the stroke of midnight to enjoy a meal with friends.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr welcomed the new freedoms, but warned residents not to travel into NSW.

"The best advice is that if you don't need to travel, don't travel. If you don't need to cross the border, don't cross the border. If you don't need to be in a room full of lots of people, don't be in a room full of lots of people," he said.

NSW is gearing up for a huge weekend of shopping and socialisation with the first weekend of 'freedom' for its residents.

Cases have dropped again in the state, but case numbers in regional areas are still a concern.

So much so that the travel ban on Sydneysiders heading into regional areas has now been extended.

Dubbo mayor Stephen Lawrence told the Senate's coronavirus committee yesterday that a drug dealer who visited Sydney brought the virus to the regional western NSW town.

"The truth that virtually dare not speak its name is that the initial spread of COVID-19 and then the transmission thereafter in regional New South Wales was very largely the product of the illicit drug trade," he said.

Honestly if you had told me a couple of months ago that there would be tornadoes, a state Premier resigning and riots in Victoria - I don't know that I would have believed you.

But here we are.

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