The dust bowl was a period of severe dust storms that causes damage to prairie lands from 1930 to 1936, some areas until 1940. Whoever thought before this that dust could kill Americans and affect their life’s forever. This historical event will be a moment in time that will be in our memories forever because it is an event to learn from and never forget. The main states that were affected by the dust bowl were Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas , and New Mexico. Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and some parts of Canada were also affected.
These states were affected because there was a lot of farming and in this area and because of the warm climate they acquire very bad droughts. These dust storms were caused by severe drought and poor farming techniques such as no crop rotation. They dug to deep into the ground, which destroyed all of the roots and grass in the ground that holds the soil down. Having too much agriculture, planting, overgrazing, and harsh winters were too much for the land to handle. Farmers also did not use the correct methods for the environment, which caused erosion. For example cotton farmers cleared fields and left them for the winter months.
Winds are the highest during this time, so the grasses that should have held the soil in place were not there. This created huge dust clouds because of the dry topsoil being carried in the wind In 1932, 14 dust storms were recorded in the plains. In 1933, there were 38 storms. In 1934, around 100 million acres of farm land had lost almost all of the top soil because of the wind. The dust storms caused dirt to get into houses no matter how hard the family tried to prevent it from happening Dirt also got into automobile engines and caused problems and even prevented them from operating.
People wore masks to prevent the dust from getting into their lungs, but yet hospitals reported hundreds of patients sick with dust pneumonia Often these dust storms would come so suddenly that farmers would get trapped out in their fields and would suffocate The dust storms were so bad that people could not continue living there any longer. Many families packed their belongings and left there homes. Victims of the dust bowl migrated to California and other places on the west coast. They tried to go wherever they could in search of jobs.
Many of them did not find jobs because of the depression. Often families lived in tar-paper hacks with no floor or plumbing. By 1940, 2. 5 million people moved from the dust bowl states. Government programs were set up to help the farmers and their families Programs were developed for soil conservation, and new methods and techniques were taught. The government also gave the farmer money and seeds to help them start over. The farmers were told to plant trees and grass to anchor the soil so that the same problems would continue no longer.
Courtney from Study Moose
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