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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Broken Hill Dust Storm, 22nd September 2009

We were parked outside the caravan repairers in Broken Hill waiting for a new awning to be fitted to the caravan when the dust storm started on Tuesday afternoon the 22rd September. The 19 foot awning blew off in another dust storm in Port August about 2 weeks ago and was being replaced with a new one, the insurance company was fantastic and didn't quibble a bit. At about 3.15 pm the sky suddenly went a weird orange colour and the wind was so strong, it almost knocked me over when I got out of the car to take a photo. A few moments later, as we sat in the car gaping at the now magnificent blood red sky and the ferocious wind bending the trees almost double, day suddenly turned into night and everything went black. At 3.30 in the afternoon, it was suddenly night time, so exciting because it couldn't possibly be happening. All traffic stopped, nothing moved, motorists and truckies, all with hazard lights flashing in the darkness, sat stunned, waiting for something to happen. I took lots of pictures but the flash was on and only took the dust particles and blackness. It lasted for about 20 minutes before it was safe to move.

I was a bit disappointed next morning when I discovered it had dumped on Sydney and most of the east coast, I thought I was one of the few who'd had a unique outback experience.