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Desert sands sweep the city

December 27, 2006

Dec. 27, 1901: An unexpected desert storm blew its way into Los Angeles, The Times reported.

"Rain had not been predicted by the Weather Bureau, but there was a steady downpour. The rain wasn't wet. Quite the contrary, it rained sand," the newspaper reported.

"All day long, pulverized granite was sifted down upon Los Angeles from dust-brown skies. The phenomenon was a peculiar one. It was a new experience to many tourists sojourning in Los Angeles who had never seen it rain anything but water, either in liquid form or congealed in the form of hail or snow."

"But for the dryness of the air," The Times noted, "one would have imagined that the city was enveloped in one of London's typical black fogs, or at least a pretty respectable Scotch mist."

Reports came in from around the area about fallen trees and sand-covered rail tracks, the newspaper said. They also "indicate that some damage was done to the orange crop by the wind. Undoubtedly a good deal of the fruit was pricked by thorns or bruised by being blown about."

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