Strong winds and dry soils are a frightful combination.
The series of dust storms that rolled through the southern Great Plains this winter and spring were as bad as any in living memory. The region’s rainfall deficit is worse now than during the peak of the Dust Bowl, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Scenes today from southwest Kansas and the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas are nearly indistinguishable from photos taken nearly 80 years ago during one of America’s worst environmental disasters.
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Brett writes about agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and the politics and economics of water in the United States. He also writes the Federal Water Tap, Circle of Blue’s weekly digest of U.S. government water news. He is the winner of two Society of Environmental Journalists reporting awards, one of the top honors in American environmental journalism: first place for explanatory reporting for a series on septic system pollution in the United States(2016) and third place for beat reporting in a small market (2014). He received the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service Award in 2018. Brett lives in Seattle, where he hikes the mountains and bakes pies. Contact Brett Walton