Rare dust storm blows through Canterbury town

Freak winds blanketed Gerald St in Lincoln with dust. Photo: Barry Clarke
Freak winds blanketed Gerald St in Lincoln with dust. Photo: Barry Clarke
Erratic spring weather has seen a dust storm blow through a Canterbury town, fires, power outages and buildings damaged.

Last Tuesday, freak winds blanketed Gerald St in Lincoln with dust, the likes of which locals say they had never seen before.

Mary Edwards, a sales consultant at Harcourts on Gerald St, said she and two colleagues went outside to investigate where the smoky-coloured cloud was coming from.

“It just hit Lincoln big time,” Edwards said.

“We just thought it was smoke from a fire, but when you went out there was no actual smell, so we thought it couldn’t be smoke.”

The dust seemed to be blowing in from the Rolleston side of town, perhaps off land being developed into new subdivisions.

The dust seemed to blow in from the Rolleston side of town. Photo: Barry Clarke
The dust seemed to blow in from the Rolleston side of town. Photo: Barry Clarke
Then it left town and headed towards Tai Tapu.

A Prebbleton resident said she was driving to an appointment and could see dust in the distance as she approached from Birchs Rd.

“It was thick, it was just like a really heavy fog,” she said.

“I felt sorry for all the shops, they had to close their doors.”

But it left as quickly as it came, only lasting about 15 minutes.

Firefighters race to put out a fire in a tree line in Tosswill Rd, Prebbleton, on Saturday...
Firefighters race to put out a fire in a tree line in Tosswill Rd, Prebbleton, on Saturday morning. Photo: Barry Clarke
An onlooker at the Famous Grouse Hotel said it was noticeable from inside the building.

“We looked out the window and were like: ‘Whoa, what the hell is going on out there’,” she said.

At the weekend, strong winds whipped up fires. Lincoln Volunteer Fire Brigade chief Jeremy Greenwood said it was the busiest day so far this spring for the brigade, with about 12 callouts.

 

 

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