FROM DAY TO DARKNESS:The sun was hidden behind the second dust storm in four days at Taroom on Saturday evening.
FROM DAY TO DARKNESS:The sun was hidden behind the second dust storm in four days at Taroom on Saturday evening.

Dust rolls into Taroom again

PUNTERS almost did a double take - the dust had barely cleared from the last race at the Taroom track on Saturday afternoon when the second dust storm in four days rolled in.

Women who got all frocked up for the day had to hang on to their hats and fascinators as strong gusty winds tormented race goers during most of the afternoon.

Taroom resident Ross Bennett said people trying to watch the rugby league semi-final between the Storm and Broncos at the bar were getting more dirt than beer in their mouths.

“It just got stronger and thicker,” Mr Bennett said of the dust.

“There was no sunset - it just got dark,” he said.

Taroom trainer Rod Hay, who won the second race with General Nonsense, said it was lucky the races weren't held on Sunday, which was windier and dustier.

Mr Hay said all the dust had cleared by Monday.

It rolled into other centres from Biloela to Baralaba and Dululu as Saturday evening and night wore on.

Biloela resident Bill Morris was caught up in the red cloud that hit Sydney last week.

Mr Morris was flying into Sydney from the Philippines and was due to land about 6.30am.

He didn't hit the tarmac until 5pm - almost 11 hours later.

“We were diverted to Brisbane, and as we approached there were told that there were no more parking spaces there and we would need to divert to Melbourne,” Mr Morris said.

“After four hours locked in the plane (at Melbourne) because we had not cleared customs, no food or drinks, we took off for Sydney again and ended up in a holding pattern over Canberra for a further two hours.

“Of course, by then we all had missed our connecting flights,” Mr Morris, who was due to fly on to Brisbane, and then Rockhampton.

He finally arrived in Brisbane about 9pm and then the next drama - all the booking people with Qantas were gone and their offices closed.

“Finally I found someone from customer service and convinced them to book me out to Rockhampton on the first flight the next day, and find me accommodation for the night.

“I finally got to bed at about midnight and up again at 4.30am to get to the airport and off to Rockhampton.

“I arrived in Rocky about 8am on the 24th, a day late, but I feel airlines and air services did a wonderful job all round in getting the mess sorted,” Mr Morris said.


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