Nightly News   |  October 18, 2011

Dust storms sweeps through Lubbock, Texas

Hurricane-force winds whipped up a black cloud of dust that swept across the high plains of Lubbock, Texas. NBC’s Jay Gray reports.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: The folks in west Texas say it was the worst dust storm in decades, and it swept through Lubbock yesterday in a way that reminded some of the veterans, the old-timers, of the dust bowl storms back in the 1930s . The story tonight from Texas and NBC 's Jay Gray .

Offscreen Voice #1: Wow!

JAY GRAY reporting: Home video captured the scene in west Texas . The horizon looked like something from a science fiction thriller.

Offscreen Voice #2: That is terrifying.

GRAY: But for residents in Lubbock , Texas , it was no movie.

Unidentified Woman: It was horrible. Scary really. Just a big old black cloud of dust.

GRAY: That 8,000-foot- high wall of dust washed across the high plains pushed by hurricane-force winds.

JOHN ROBISON reporting: We had wind gusts of 74 miles an hour. Let's show you some video, and this is going to be from our NewsChannel 11 tower cam. This was during our 6:00 newscast, and watch the wall of dust.

GRAY: The winds bent power poles and ripped buildings apart.

Lieutenant GAVIN DANIEL (Lubbock Fire Department): And we saw a third of our roof get blown across the back parking lot, and it landed on several cars and some of it ended up about a hundred yards away.

GRAY: A severe gust left a massive cargo plane with its nose in the air. At first, many thought it might be a tornado. But it was actually a fast-moving cold front whipping up wind and dust, the latest consequence of the devastating drought that continues to grip this entire state.

Voice #2: Look at all the dust! Oh, my God!

ROBISON: I've never seen anything really this severe in west Texas .

Offscreen Voice #3: It is 5:30 in the afternoon right now.

GRAY: As the seasons change and the drought continues, Texas runs the risk of more scenes like this when dust turns day into night. Jay Gray, NBC News, Fort Worth.