Mojave Gets Sandblasted by Severe Wind Storm

A Target tractor trailer overturned on Highway 14 south of Mojave. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

A severe windstorm that started on Tuesday has been continuing to blast the town of Mojave and the surrounding area. The highlights:

  • sandstorms are raging at the airport and throughout the surrounding area
  • winds are reporting reaching up to 86 mph
  • the Mojave Air & Space Port lost power in the late afternoon
  • A 747 in the airport’s Boneyard is tilting on its tail as if its trying to take off
  • at least two tractors turned over on their sides on Highway 14 just south of town due to strong winds
  • there are scattered power outages throughout the area.
The back end of an UPS truck overturned south of the town of Mojave. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

This is the worst storm I’ve seen since moving here back in October. It’s hard to walk outside, you can’t stay in your lane when you’re driving, opening doors is downright hazardous, and you get pelted with sand just walking outside. Entire parts of the sky are darkened with sand. It’s like right out of a French Foreign Legion movie.

A dust storm rages south of the Mojave Air & Space Port on Tuesday. The winds -- and the sandstorms -- were mild compared with those on Wednesday. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Mojave is an Indian word for “Big Wind.” This would certainly qualify. We’re used to wind storms out here, but a friend of mine says that it’s the worst thing he’s seen in five years in the desert. It supposed to last through Thursday.