High winds whip up dust and damage


High winds created dust storms in Bishop area, mostly obscuring the mountains.

As weather reporters predicted, a stiff wind charged into the Eastern Sierra Wednesday.  Our weatherman, Dennis Mattinson, called for a cold front through Friday and most significantly, high wind warnings for the Owens Valley through Friday afternoon and Mono County through Thursday.

The high winds whipped up serious dust storms in several places, took trees down in Bishop and damaged some homes.

The Great Basin Air Pollution Control District issued a Stage 2 Air Pollution Health Advisory for all Owens Valley communities.  Duane Ono of APCD said that early in the day high winds caused dust storms from north of Bishop and also in the Laws and Hammil Valley areas. Later a Stage 2 advisory was issued for all Owens Valley communities, including Bishop.  Ono said APCD discovered high winds and dust in the Mono Lake area as well. The Town of Mammoth Lakes experienced stiff gusts of winds with a definite haze around Town.

APCD did advise children, the elderly and those with heart or lung problems to stay indoors in all Owens Valley areas. The California Highway Patrol reported high wind advisories on Highway 395 from the Kern-Inyo County line through the Nevada state line, taking in our entire area.

Bishop Police confirmed that the high winds caused reports of trees down on power lines and structures compromised.  Bishop Volunteer Fire Department had earlier responded to three such calls.  The situation did lead to power outages in and around Owens Valley towns.

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