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10-year anniversary of massive dust storm that swallowed Phoenix

Posted at 7:40 AM, Jul 05, 2021

PHOENIX — Monday marks the 10-year anniversary of one of the biggest dust storms on record in Phoenix.

Mike Olbinski is a self-proclaimed "weather junkie." On July 5, 2011, he got a message from a friend letting him know a storm was coming. He says he went on top of a parking garage in downtown Phoenix and recorded a time-lapse video as the storm plowed through.

“Back then I was just starting out, so I think I had one camera and I’ve always been so bummed that I didn’t have two cameras or knew what I was doing more back then," Olbinski said.

But the video got national attention, and since that day, Olbinski went on to become a professional weather photographer. His work has since been featured in movies, documentaries, and commercials.

"That could have been like a one-hit-wonder where that's what people would remember me for, but...that kind of set me on the path that I've been on for the past 10 years," he said.

The storm, also known as a 'haboob,' stretched almost 100 miles, topping out at over 5,000 feet tall.

Largest haboob ever in Phoenix was on July 5, 2011 - ABC15 Digital