Published: Jul 06, 2011 8:51 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 06, 2011 7:51 PM EDT

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizonans are calling it the mother of all haboobs.

A dust storm more than a mile high, 100 miles wide and as fast as 60 mph is all that locals can talk about Wednesday.

The storm moved through the state around sundown Tuesday, halting airline flights, knocking out power for thousands, turning swimming pools into mud pits and caking cars with dirt.

Dust storms, also known by the Arabic term haboob, are hard to predict, so Tuesday's storm took everyone by surprise.

Seemingly out of nowhere, the storm moved like a giant wall from the south, the dust roiling ominously as it approached. Once it hit, visibility dropped to zero in some areas, trees blew sideways, and even skyscrapers in downtown Phoenix became invisible.

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