News

North Coast chokes in dust

The dust storm and strong winds caused planes to be diverted from Lismore airport.
The dust storm and strong winds caused planes to be diverted from Lismore airport. Cathy Adams/Jay Cronan

THE DUST storm that enveloped the North Coast yesterday at one point stretched to Mount Isa and caused humidity at Ballina to plummet to an almost unheard of minus 2 per cent.

Every drop of water was sucked from the air by the dry continental air mass, prompting the Rural Fire Service to declare a total fire ban.

Like a giant snowball it grew as it travelled, blowing close to 16,000 tonnes of dust across the coast every hour.

The dust was expected to be cleared this morning in time for this afternoon's Lismore Cup.

Flights at Lismore airport were cancelled for most of the day, as visibility fell to 700 metres. Ballina airport stayed open, but flights were delayed.

A North Coast rugby union carnival, involving more than 300 school children was called off after an hour of play, on advice from the NSW Health Department.

Xavier College student Dietmar Sobczak, aged 13, said he was relieved to be off the field as breathing was becoming increasingly difficult.

Lismore cafes said trade was down as residents opted to stay indoors.

Murray (who declined to give his surname), a tourist from Queensland, was seen walking the streets of Lismore wearing an industrial respirator mask.

“I usually only wear this for painting,” he said. “I was just lucky it was in the car.”

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Ewan Mitchell said strong winds caused by a cold front began picking up dust in north-east South Australia on Tuesday. Overnight the front, generating winds of 100km/h, collected more dust in drought-affected western NSW.

“The storm moved west to east, meaning you didn't get the same dust as Sydney,” he said.

“The Sydney dust moved out into the Tasman Sea. Your dust originated further north, although it was the same system,” he said.

The storm hit the North Coast around 9am, four-and-a-half hours after it struck Sydney.

Mr Mitchell said he had no idea of the volume of inland dust blown across the continent, but he was philosophical.

"I think they still have plenty of dirt,” he said.

Got photos of the dust storm? Email us your photos.

Read more ...

Dust storm engulfs NSW, Qld

Asthma warning over dust storm

Sunshine Coast fires rage

Qld fire ban begins

View photos of the dust storm over Brisbane on brisbanetimes.com.au

Check out what they're saying about the dust storm on Twitter



Guns, bullets, and drugs seized in Northern Rivers raid

Police conduct drug raids in the city and surrounding areas, confiscating an array of drugs, implements used to conceal drugs, and firearms. A number of people are on multiple charges. July 8, 2016

Rural property searched and two people charged.

Why wasn't North Coast beach closed after shark bump?

BEACH CLOSED: Authorities decided not to close Sharpes Beach after two surfers were knocked off their boards on Tuesday.

Incident was considered an "encounter not an attack"

Car over infinity pool was 'wow factor' at Jaguar launch

Elements at Byron has hosted the Jaguar SUV launch.

The event was described as the car company's "best launch ever"

Latest deals and offers

Lindsay Lohan 'calls off engagement'

Lohan reportedly called off her engagement to Russian millionaire

Rob Kardashian 'neglected' by Blac Chyna

Friends say they are now 'back in love'

Ngaiire: "I miss Lismore...”

ON STAGE: Former Northern Rivers resident Ngaiire during her set at Splendour.

Singer Ngaiire opens up at Splendour in the Grass

Isla Fisher: I don't like talking about my private life

Isla Fisher shut down TV hosts when they asked about her husband

Mariah Carey: I 'can't believe' Prince has gone

'Prince was one of the best people I've met'

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started