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Rain and Dust Storms Pound Outback Communities

Violent weather has been wreaking havoc in Australia’s remote Outback communities:

SEVERE storms have ripped through parts of the country, depositing red mud everywhere, with high winds causing mayhem.

Alice Springs was hit yesterday with winds up to 110km/h tearing uprooting trees and tearing down roofs and powerlines.

Heavy rain also caused flash flooding, and a widespread power failure blacked out the town’s traffic lights and cut electricity to most homes, the Northern Territory News reported.

The storm – which was described by some residents as being “like a hurricane” – hit the town at 1.20pm.

Dust was swept into the air and turned the sky red. Cars were smashed by falling trees, roofs were destroyed and police directed traffic around the debris.

Motorists were warned to stay off the roads unless trips were essential.The weather bureau said 18mm of rain was recorded at Alice Plaza.

Businesses were forced to close their doors and workers joined in the clean-up around town.

Power and Water’s area manager Alan Whyte said teams would work through the night to restore power to affected areas.

“The majority of homes in Alice Springs were without power after the storm,” he said.   []

Read the rest of the article but it sounds like it is quite a mess in the Alice Springs area.

For example here is how the ANZAC memorial above Alice Springs looks like during a normal day:

This is how it looks now:

You can view even more pictures from the storm here.