Dust Storm Of Biblical Proportions

dust storm at tallil iraq

The picture above is from last night. This was about the coolest dust storm I've ever seen. Way better than the ones I took pictures of last time I was here in 2007.

Unfortunately, these aren't pictures that I took. I was at the dining hall as this great wall of dust was approaching from the south, and among my least favorite rules here at COB Adder, is the one that says you can't bring cameras into the DFAC. I don't care about getting pictures of where I eat, but if I come out of the DFAC, and see a giant wall of dust, with lightning bolts coming out of it, I really would like to have my camera with me.

This desire to get to my camera, actually resulted in my getting to experience the "full effect" of this particular dust storm. When I first saw the wall of dust, it was probably still a mile or two to the south ... moving very rapidly in our direction.

I made the miscalculation that I might be able to beat it back to my CHU. It normally takes us about 15 minutes to walk to chow (I think it's about 3/4 of a mile), so I proceeded to take off running ... sprinting is what I was attempting, but my sprint isn't terribly quick these days.

I got about half way before the dust moved right over me. I went from relatively bright evening type light, to almost pitch black in a matter of about 30 seconds. I couldn't see 5 feet in front of me. And to make it worse, since I was just "sprinting", I was now breathing a little heavily ... which resulted in sucking in a bit more dust than I would have liked.

I eventually made it back to my room, where I spent the next 45 minutes hacking and coughing, trying to catch my breath.

I was actually somewhat fortunate compared to the other guys, who didn't leave chow as quickly as I did ... they got caught in the raining mud down pour. I'm pretty sure the uniforms they were wearing are going to have orange stains for quite some time.

Kevin was the duty forecaster on the swing shift, and by stroke of good luck, always has his little kodak camera in his backpack. He's the one who snapped the picture up top, and the alternate view below. Like I said, I would have loved to have had my camera, but since I didn't, I sure am glad that Kevin had his.

hell damnation & dust

Til next time ...


p.s. about the title of this blog post ... I'm not terrible familiar with stories from the bible, but seeing as how many of the events took place in this region, I can't help but think that a sight such as the one in picture above, might very have given the people of the day the distinct impression that God was just a little bit mad about something. ;-)


  1. Todd, I think the word I am looking for is awesome. What an experience!
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Wat Chaloemrat Prachuap Khiri Khan =-.

  2. Now that is what I call a dust storm. I can just imagine you doubled over trying to regain your breath. Oh well at least you tried. ;)
    .-= Sire´s last blog ..Interview With Maddy Cuttsworth Over PR Update =-.

  3. Wow what a dust bunny. Not sure where you live, but that reminds of the one and only time I visited Phoenix Arizona. One of those beasts blew in and I could watch in from my hotel window. I remember being grateful I was not caught outside in it.
    .-= Ross´s last blog ..Did Enron Kill the American Dream? =-.

  4. This is definitely not something you see everyday! Poor guys must have had ears full of sand.
    .-= Elena´s last blog ..Louis Vuitton Russianized It With Mikhail Gorbachev, Who’s Next? =-.

  5. Nice one - the whole - and the world became dark Biblical thing made sense the first time I experienced an Aussie dust storm
    .-= Lissie´s last blog ..Keyword Academy Case Study – PostRunner Tutorial =-.

  6. Whoa that is insane!!

  7. man, this is just impressive! what huge dust storm!

  8. Yeah that was a bad one, I got caught in it too.

  9. Hey, just wanted to thank everyone for stopping by and commenting. This was one heck of a dust storm. I hope not to see anything like this again for at least another year or two ... although I have this silly idea that I might want to go tornado chasing sometime, and I suppose we could get something like this out in west Texas too ... but if I see it there, I'll definitely have my camera with me :-)

  10. Todd,

    This reminds me of a scene from "The Mummy." Awesome shot!
    .-= Ryan´s last blog ..Don’t Share Your Money Problems with Me, I Don’t Want Them =-.


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