"On Plains, Concern About Another Dust Bowl"

"MULESHOE, Texas -- James Wedel remembers seeing thunderheads on the horizon and thinking: 'Oh good, we're finally gonna get some rain.'

One problem: Those weren't rain clouds.

'The wind started blowing, the dust started blowing, and you could hardly see in front of your face,' Wedel says. 'Static electricity was flying around. It was hard to breathe. I tell you, it was awful scary.'

Seventy-five years have passed since the worst of the Dust Bowl, a relentless series of dust storms that ravaged farms and livelihoods in the southern Great Plains that carried a layer of silt as far east as New York City. Today, the lessons learned during that era are more relevant than ever as impending water shortages and more severe droughts threaten broad swaths of the nation."

Brian Winter reports for USA TODAY April 9, 2010.

Friday, April 9, 2010