25 September 2009

A Very Dirty Day.

Wednesday dawned bright and clear if a bit blustery. Ken and I were going down to Currumbin Beach to see Jane, Fred and the boys, plus other friends, who were there for the first week of the school holidays. I did a bit of work, then my screen decided to switch itself off. I could not get it going again, it kept coming up with "no signal". Nothing for it, I thought I'd better take it to the computer repair guys to see if they could fix it. Because I work from home, I told Ken I wouldn't be able to come to the beach as I needed to get the puter fixed. He then decided not to go. As it happened someone was looking after us.

I took the screen to the repair shop, then went to do my shopping. While driving to Grand Plaza, I heard something about a dust storm over Sydney but didn't take much notice. I parked in the undercover carpark, went into the Plaza to do my shopping. About an hour later, I found myself coughing and getting tight in the chest. Fortunately I had my inhaler and took a couple of puffs. I noticed others were coughing and then the fire alarms went off. I wondered where the fire was, but no one seemed particularly perturbed and there were no announcements to evacuate the complex so I continued on with my bits and pieces. I was getting a bit peckish and decided to have lunch. As I was waiting to be served I happened to glance out one of the large pairs of automatic doors and just about fell over. I could hardly see the carpark. I wondered if it was smoke, then heard someone say something about a dust storm.

The fire alarms went off again and it was obvious that the dust was setting them off, as people came into the Plaza or exited through the automatic doors. The atmosphere was really eerie. If any of you have seen the Arnold Schwartzneggar movie "Total Recall" where the atmosphere on Mars was an awful red...that's what it was like outside. It was awful. I decided I was not going out in that. It was a good excuse...I picked up some pretty good bargains!

After a couple of hours, the atmosphere seemed clearer so I took the chance and went outside. What a mess. All the cars were covered in red dust...and this was in the undercover carpark. Mind you, the wind was howling at 50 kph. Apparently 75,000 tonnes of dust was being deposited in the Tasman Ocean every hour!

Anyway, I picked up my groceries from parcel pick up, filled the car up and headed home. By that time visibility was not too bad...about 500 metres. On the way home, I suddenly remembered I had left all the windows and doors open. I have security screens and they were locked, but they weren't going to keep the dust out.

Sure enough, when I went inside, everything was covered with this fine red dust. What a mess. Everything was gritty to touch, the floor crunched with dust when walked on...yuk, it was disgusting. Nothing for it...I put the groceries away and started washing everything down. After a couple of hours, the place looked a lot better. Meanwhile Jane had rung and said it was fortunate we hadn't gone down to the beach. She said it was just horrible. The drive down there wouldn't have been much fun either, it's about a 90 minute drive and I wouldn't have fancied that in such limited visibility.

The news is...there's another dust storm on its way, due to hit early tomorrow. Gee, just what I always wanted...


This is at the tail end of the dust storm.


The mud on the windscreen after I put the washers on.

Lovely red dust...it looks like I've driven the Birdsville Track.

17 comments:

Gledwood said...

I know someone who posted up pixx of that Sydney Dust Storm ... I'll get you the URL ...

Gledwood said...

Here y'are!

You missed my Anglo Saxon Gold today by about 5 mins... I was posting as you commented ...

Gledwood said...

Oh bloody hell I 4got the url here it is:

http://nicolemobile.blogspot.com/2009/09/sydney-wednesday-sandstorm.html

Gattina said...

When I saw Sidney yesterday night on TV, I really stared at the screen with open mouth ! Unbelievable ! I said to Mr. G. that I have to ask you if you also were concerned you live in Queensland. But apparently yes, although it looks not so red on your pictures ! How horrible to clean up such a mess. Hopefully it doesn't come back ! It's far more interesting to read and see pictures of people I know (at least virtually) then the reportages on TV !

Cindy said...

What a mess! I cannot imagine! Hope you are all well.
Cindy

PEA said...

You even made our local news here, they were showing videos of the dust storm and I thought of you right away. It certainly did look like a scene from a movie, what a mess. How very lucky that you ended up not going to the beach that day, as you said, someone was looking after you! At least you were "stuck" in the mall while the storm was at its worst so could spend the time shopping! lol Yikes on coming home to so much dust in the house, though:-( Hopefully the next dust storm won't be as bad!! Stay safe dear Robyn! xoxo

Peter said...

G'day Robyn, that duststorm was a bit eerie wasn't it and more to come... Gympie had a warm up run yesterday (Friday) we had similar visibility through the smoke from a bushfire at Cedar Pocket.... ALWAYS a dull moment

Alice said...

Even heavy rain outside doesn't dislodge the dust, just turns it muddy. Thankfully we didn't have windows and doors open so we didn't get too much inside.

Hope you don't get too much second time around, Robyn.

Jeanette said...

Gday Robyn.Oh yes Weved had a few red dust storms this year and copped another load of dust, Mud overnight with this latest one to hit. cause we had rain with it overnight even got into my water tank from the roof now brown water oh what a mess..

Merle said...

Hi Robyn ~~ That red dust sure looked very strange and not very nice either Glad you didn't go driving in it to the beach at Currumbin. Glad you got a few bargains at the Mall.

After me saying how nice the garden was starting to flower, we had heavy rain and hail and there are blooms on the ground, especially the mauve Wisteria - it's like a carpet. Fun!!
Take care, my friend, Love, Merle.

Angelo said...

Hi Robyn, I saw the pictures on the news the other day... wow did it ever look eerie and surreal. I'm sure it's more interesting for those of us who can just look and not have to live through it. Take care!

Walker said...

I Never seen a dust storm but I bet its scary to get caught in one.
I'm glad you didn't get caught on the road fighting through it.

Remiman said...

Robyn,
WOW! I saw that storm on the news here and thought, what a frightenig perdicament to be in if one was caught out in it unawares.
There is certainly some heavy-handed weather around the world these days. Makes a fellow think!
rel

RennyBA's Terella said...

It was all over the news in Norway too and I thought it looks scary - glad you are okay!

Happy Sunday evening and a great week ahead :-)

Lifecruiser said...

Yes, we saw it too in the news. Sounds a bit scary yes, i hope you're second one on the way isn't as bad as the first one. I can't imagine how it would be to get caught in one. We don't have them over here, well, some very small ones has passed during all times, but it's very, very rare. Not up to your scale at all.

Liz said...

Sounds horrible! Glad you managed to make good use of your time shopping though!

Tinsie said...

Thank God we don't get red dust in the UK!