Huge dust storms 'ages' 3TV's Steve Ryan

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PHOENIX -- 3TV 's newest anchor / reporter, Steve Ryan, faced the elements head on Tuesday night, and Mother Nature wasn't particularly kind, opening the door for some good-natured teasing from viewers.

New to Arizona, this was Ryan's first encounter with the monsoon. While he's no stranger to Mother Nature's fury, having covered Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Tuesday night's massive dust storm -- which the National Weather Service is calling "historic" -- was unlike anything he had ever seen.

"Back East, we're used to hurricanes, tornadoes. I had never experienced a dust storm like that in my life," he said.

Dubbed the "dustman" on Twitter, Ryan rolled with the teasing that came from viewers and colleagues alike.

"They say this business ages us quickly," Ryan said. "I learned that yes, it does."

When Ryan came to work Tuesday morning, his hair was its natural black. By the time he got home, it was gray through and through. He was covered head to toe with dust.

A dedicated journalist, Ryan is quick to say that at the end of the day, no matter what the conditions, it's all about telling the story and getting 3TV's viewers the information they need.

"It's what we do," Ryan said. "We went out there, covered the story, got it done and then got cleaned up afterward."

It only took a few hair washings (several last night and a couple more this morning) to get all the dust out.

Now he just has to figure out how to clean his swimming pool.