Mojave Cleans Up After Storm as Amazing Photos Emerge

Ghostly images of aircraft are obscured by a sandstorm in the Mojave Air & Space Port Boneyard on Tuesday. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

Well. the Mojave Big Wind Sandapaloozza of 2012 ended late last night. Sunny skies devoid of massive dust clouds once again shined over the desert today. And massive 747 aren’t threatening to go cartwheeling across the Boneyard.

I saw a fair amount of damage. There was a recreational vehicle run off the road up near where I live. It wasn’t turned over on its side, thankfully, so I’m assuming everyone was OK. There was a road sign utterly demolished across from where those two tractor trailers turned over. The winds also wrecked a covering over fuel pumps at a gasoline station on the south end of town.

There are some damaged buildings at the airport. There are at least 3 hangars at the airport with some degree of damage. A small building next to another hangar had its roof tore up like a can opener was used on it. A crew is now removing what’s left.

I didn’t get a chance to get a full damage assessment from the airport. I took advantage of the break in the weather to run a bunch of errands down in civilization (the sprawling Lancaster/Palmdale metropolis).

Mike Massee of XCOR has posted some amazing photos of the windstorm that blew through Mojave on Tuesday and Wednesday. That includes the Southern Air 747 in the Boneyard that was trying to take off on its own.

This morning it was so calm — it was really eerie — that when I drove down to Lancaster I could have probably taken my hands off the steering wheel and not touched it except for when the road curved. It’s the only time I can remember driving north or south through this desert without having to fight crosswinds. It was just awesome! I had forgotten what that was like.

By afternoon, the winds were back to normal….normal being a relative term around these parts…What’s next? No, I don’t want to know!