Dust Bowl Facts

Dust Bowl Facts
During the 1930s there was a period of severe drought and dust storms. The ecology and agriculture in the Canadian prairies and the United States was damaged severely. This period became known as the Dust Bowl. The Dust Bowl was caused because of wind erosion that occurred because of the drought. For the previous 10 years the topsoil of the Great Plains had been plowed deeply enough to destroy the deep-rooted grasses that would normally have helped to trap the soil and moisture, even during drought. This Dust Bowl destroyed millions of acres and as a result 10s of thousands of families were forced to abandon their farms.
Interesting Dust Bowl Facts:
The Dust Bowl is also often referred to as the Dirty Thirties.
Some of the reasons that the Dust Bowl occurred were over-farming, livestock over-grazing, drought and poor farming practices.
There were more than 100 million acres of land affected by the Dust Bowl.
There were 14 dust storms in 1932 on the Great Plains.
There were 38 dust storms in 1933 on the Great Plains.
More than 300,000 people moved to California during the Dust Bowl to start over because of the damage to land caused by the Dust Bowl.
Because of the Great Depression, many of the farmers who migrated to the cities to look for work due the Dust Bowl's destruction of their land could not find employment.
The Dust Bowl got its name in 1935 when an Associated Press reporter witnessed a dust storm and came up with the name.
The state of Nebraska only had 14.5 inches of rain in 1934, as opposed to the 20 inches it usually received. This caused a drop of 75% yield of corn crops.
The dust storms were so damaging to health that children were often sent home from school in order to prevent ‘dust pneumonia'. The dust was so dangerous that some days the children were forced to stay overnight as walking home and breathing in the dust was a serious health hazard.
It is estimated that approximately two million people became homeless because of the Dust Bowl and the damage it did to their farms.
Approximately 6,500 people were killed during only one year of the Dust Bowl. They died while trying to hop on freight trains to get to other parts of the country to look for work.
The Dust Bowl is considered to be one of the worst ecological disasters caused by humans in history.
Approximately 2.5 million people left the Great Plains during the Dust Bowl. It may seem like a lot of people, but approximately 75% of the population affected did not move away. They chose to stick it out.
Drivers had to drag chains behind their cars during the Dust Bowl because dust storms cause high static electricity and the chains would ground the cars. This helped to prevent severe electrical shocks to people when they touched other people or objects.
People knew to brush the dust off their roofs. They didn't realize however that the dust had gotten inside and many attics collapsed because of the heavy build-up.
The Dust Bowl phenomena occurred again for five years in the 1950s. This time the drought was called the ‘Filthy Fifties'.


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