Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dust cloud swallows Phoenix -photos

A giant wave of dust sweeps through the Phoenix metropolitan area.

A giant wave of dust sweeps through the Phoenix metropolitan area.
The Phoenix area is dusting itself off Wednesday after a stinging desert storm swept through town, delaying flights and leaving thousands without power, officials said.

The choking dust cloud moved through the Phoenix valley late Tuesday like an enormous wave - reaching nearly 10,000 feet high, meteorologists said.

"This was pretty significant," said Pail Iniguez of the National Weather Service. "We heard from a lot of people who lived here for a number of storms and this was the worst they'd seen."

A dust storm known as a "habub" rolls into downtown Phoenix on July 5, 2011. Amanda Lee Myers/AP

In some places, wind gusts reached 60 miles per hour in the  Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale area.

Amazingly, there have been no reports of casualties or of damage to property, though some 8,000 people have been left without power and Phoenix-bound flights were delayed for hours when the Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop order for a little over hour at the city's Sky Harbor Airport.

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