30 PHOTOS: Remember the day the dust turned Ipswich orange?
WITH reports a dust storm could affect parts of southern Queensland today and tomorrow, QT delved back to this report from Wednesday, September 23 2009...
The day the dust came to Ipswich
THE once in a decade dust storm which turned Ipswich orange yesterday is predicted to cause widespread blackouts today.
Children and the elderly were advised to remain indoors as a wave of thick dust, originally from rural New South Wales, began to blanket Ipswich at 10am.
The spectacular dust storm reached its peak at midday, creating a sunset-like sky before slowly clearing after 1.30pm.
An Energex spokesman said dust which fell on power incinerators yesterday would turn to mud when dew formed this morning, causing power outages
"If it rains or even if there's a lot of dew, which is likely in Ipswich, the dust will turn to mud and our incinerators may short circuit," the spokesman said.
"When that happens blackouts are very likely and there's also a chance of powerlines falling over, so we advise residents to call Energex immediately if their house has lost power."
Raceview resident Steven Arrowsmith said his co-worker had a mild asthma attack after spending five minutes outside yesterday morning.
"When she came back she was gasping for breath pretty bad for a while and was told not to go outside again all day," Mr Arrowsmith said.
"This sort of dust is something I've never seen before; it's hard to even see the traffic lights at times."
Freedom Express service station attendant Jasmine Crossingham said nearly every one of her customers had complained about the dust.
"When I started this morning there wasn't much visibility and it just keeps getting worse," Ms Crossingham said.
"Everyone's talking about it. I've been in Ipswich a while now and I have never seen anything like it."
A Bureau of Meteorology forecaster said Ipswich had not seen such a large dust storm for at least a decade.
The forecaster said dust would still create haze in Ipswich this morning but the sky would begin to clear after midday.
Dick Whitaker, senior meteorologist at The Weather Channel, said such a thick dust storm was a rare occurrence.
"The storm is a consequence of persistent strong winds and extremely dry conditions over inland areas of New South Wales and Queensland," Mr Whitaker said.
Ipswich police said visibility would be low today and motorists should leave their lights on while driving.
Read more ...
Freak storm leaves Downs dusty
Dust haze covers Clarence Valley
North coast chokes in dust
Mackay braces for dust up
Dust storm hits Fraser Coast
Dusty clouds storm Bundy
Storm arrives dust in time for tea
Warwick recovers from dust up
Check out our up-to-date weather forecast.