Monday, June 13, 2005

The Sandstorm

07 June 2005

The night started off ordinary enough. It had been a warm day at about 105, but no real indication that there was anything in store for tonight. Three of us had gone to midnight chow and were coming back around 12:15. As we were walking up to the palace gate, the wind started to kick up. Looking back to Building 0, the swirls of dirt and wind began to move forward towards us. Then the wind and dirt circled around us and we were part of it. It was so strange and it happened so quickly. We went from clear visibility to about ten feet in a matter of seconds.

The last sandstorm that I was through last summer was over in about two hours, but this one just kept going. We took a couple of breaks during the night to see if things were subsiding any, but nothing changed. The wind was still blowing and gusting and the dirt and sand were still swirling. Everything was getting covered in that fine Iraqi dust that has the consistency of concrete mix. It blows into every crevice and corner you can imagine. You might think that your trailer is (for the most part) insulated from this dirt, but when you get back to it you find a fine coat of dust all over everything including your bedding. It even sticks to the ceiling and walls.

By the time we were off shift at 8 am, the winds had died down some, but the visibility was still bad. The air was heavy with dirt and dust. Don’t know if the air conditioners in the trailer will filter any of this dirt out, but let’s hope so.
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