‘Pull aside, stay alive!’ Dust storm, high winds strike Boise area

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A dust storm and high winds struck the Boise area on Tuesday evening — leading to a “severe” emergency alert from the National Weather Service.

“Be ready for sudden drop to zero visibility. Pull aside, stay alive!” the alert read.

The dust storm warning began at 7:14 p.m. It covered Ada County, southwestern Boise County, Payette County, Canyon County and southwestern Gem County. The alert was in effect till 7:45 p.m. High winds and dust hit East Boise about that time.

At 7:12 p.m., a wall of dust was moving at 50 mph in the western Treasure Valley, according to the NWS. Wind exceeded 60 mph. Interstate 84 was expected to have low visibility.

Idaho Power reported “multiple weather-related outages across the Treasure Valley.” Outages usually are reported on Idaho Power’s outage map, but the company posted on its website that it was “experiencing technical difficulties with the outage map.” A phone recording told callers that about 1,130 customers were without power.

High winds were expected all day, and the storm is a prelude to a different rare event coming this weekend — a wave of unusually high temperatures.

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