Major Storm Wreaks Havoc on Central and Eastern Washington
A massive, dramatic dust storm more often associated with the Southwest blew through Eastern Washington and north Idaho on Tuesday evening in advance of thunderstorms, lightning and rain.
Washington state troopers say the dust storm reduced visibility to zero in parts of Whitman and Adams counties, leading to numerous traffic accidents, especially in the Ritzville area southwest of Spokane. crashes in the wake of the dust cloud temporarily closed eastbound Interstate 90 west of Ritzville. Power was knocked out in Prosser and a small mudslide on state route 410 near the Pleasent Valley campground. Crews worked to remove mud and debris and a pilot car was directing traffic around the slide.
National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Fugazzi says Washington gets a dust storm like this every couple of years. He says winds of 40 to 50 mph kicked up a wall of dust in advance of the thunderstorms as the weather front moved up through Eastern Washington and western Idaho and kept heading north.
Spokane International Airport reported gusts at 30 mph.