Massive Outback dust storm turns day into night

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Huge dust storm engulfs Bedouriee
Day becomes night in Bedourie. (Pic: Leon Love, Diamantina Shire Council)

Most grey nomads have learned to expect the unexpected when travelling in Australia’s vast and varied Outback … but anyone on the road near Bedourie late last week would still have been blown away by the might of Mother Nature.

A massive dust storm in the tiny town in Queensland’s south-western corner turned ‘day into night’, with residents saying the dust blocked out the light of the sun for a full 90 minutes.

Local resident Maggie den Ronden told the ABC that clouds of dust appeared on the horizon and quickly engulfed the town.

“Taking up kilometres, it was enormous – the whole town was shrouded in orange, reddy, sandy colour,” she said. “It had gone from brilliant daylight to just, you couldn’t see to the end of the street.”

The ABC reports that there have been a number of recent dust storms in other parts of the Diamantina Shire around Birdsville, with the problem being exacerbated by the lack of grass cover due to the ongoing drought.

Doug Cooms from the Bedourie Roadhouse said he had not seen anything like it for years.

“It just basically turned day into night,” he told the ABC. “Unfortunately there was no rain behind it. “We had a lot of wind, a lot of sand blasting. But all good in the end – no-one got hurt. It gets in your eyes, in your mouth.”

Bedourie borders the Simpson Desert and the town’s name actually means ‘dust storm’ in the local Indigenous language.

  • Did you experience the dust storm? What is the most remarkable sight you have seen on your Big Lap? How do you keep dust out of your rig when travelling in the Ouback? Comment below.

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