The Dust Bowl

Life During the Dust Bowl and After Effects

Beginning of the Storm

Farmers during that time used a plow called a disc plow which used vertical blades that cut into the earth and pulverized the topsoil into dirt. After a while a layer of dust settled on the grounds but since the farmers were so anxious to plow they didn't care much about the dust. This might have been their worst mistake yet, the dust got worse.
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During the Dust Bowl

Times got tough a record drought set in and incredibly dry winter had passed and insane heat added to the mess. This terrible combination turned the earth to dust. The older residents had never seen anything like this and no one was prepared. A high cloud of dust that was pitch black sailed over head.
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Residents of the Dust Bowl

The people of the Great Plains had to be tough. Their lives were changed for the worse. Farmers and others struggled to survive the drought, depression, and storm. Most left to look for a better life some stayed to raise their children and waited for better weather.
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Changes were made

By 1933 there were 38 dust storms. And the number kept climbing higher and higher. To protect themselves people put wet sheets on their windows to keep the dust out. Motorists drove with their headlights on during the day and even railroad workers took action. They had to scoop off dust so trains wouldn't derail. Schools made an effort to stay open to do so they lit lanterns and kept kids learning.
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After Effects of the Dust

After the dust had settled in the spring of 1934, the reaction among many Great Plains farm families was to flee the devastation: More than 350,000 people packed up their belongings and headed west, their lives forever changed by the disaster. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted the first of several mortgage and farming relief acts under the New Deal aimed to reduce foreclosures and keep farms afloat during the drought. But by the end of 1934, roughly 35 million acres of farmland were ruined, and the topsoil covering 100 million acres had blown away. In order to fix it the situation the government stepped in to remedy the problem: Soil conservation became the focus of federal agencies, and the U.S. Forest Service undertook a project to plant a "shelter belt" of trees within a 100-mile-wide zone, from Canada to the Texas Panhandle. Recovery was aided by the return of the rains. Soon the buffalo grass had grown back, helping to ensure that the dust bowl would not recur.