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    An Analysis of the Dust Bowl as a Treacherous Storm Which Affected the Midwestern People

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    The Dust Bowl was a treacherous storm, which occurred in the 1930ae”Ms, that affected the midwestern people, for example the farmers, and which taught us new technologies and methods of farming. As John Steinbeck wrote in his 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath: “And then the dispossessed were drawn west- from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico; from Nevada and Arkansas, families, tribes, dusted out. Carloads, caravans, homeless and hungry, twenty thousand and ity tnousand and a hunared thousand and tWO hundred thousand. Ihey streamed over the mountains, hungry and restless- restless as ants, scurrying to find work to do – to lift, to push, to pul, to pick, to cut anytning, any burden to bear, tor tood. The kids are nungry. we got no place to Ive. LIke ants SCurrying for work, for tood, and most of all tor land. The early thirties opened with prosperity and growth. At the time the Midwest was full of agricultural grovwth. The Panhandle of the Oklahoma and Texas region was marked contrast to the long soup lines of the Eastern United States. Farming was the major growing production in the United States in the 1930aeMS. Panhandle farming attached many people because it attracted many people searching for work. The best crop that was prospering around the country was wheat. The world needed it and the United States could supply it easily because of rich mineral soil. In the beginning of the 1930àe”Ms it was dry but most farmers made a wheat crop. In 1931 everyone started farming wheat. The wheat crop torced the price down from sixty-eight cents/ bushels in July 1930 to twenty-five cents/ bushels July 1931. Many Tarmers went broke and others abandoned their Tields.

    As the storms approached the tarmers weree getting ready. Farmers increased their milking cowherds. The cream from the cows was sold to make milk and the skim milk was fed to the chickens and pigs. when normal feed crops tailed, thistles were harvested, and when thistles failed, hardy souls dug up soap weed, which was chopped in a feed mill or by hand and fed to the stock. This was a backbreaking, disheartening chore, which would have broken weaker people. But to the credit of the residents of the Dust Bowl, they shouldered their task and carried on. Ihe people of the region made it because they knew how to take the everyday practical things, which had been used for years and adapt them to meet the crisis. Finding a way to make do or do diferently was a way of life for the pioneers who had come to the region only a short time earlier. When they arrived there were no houses, wells, cars, telephones or fields. Times were hard when the land was settled, and the people knew how to live and grow in difficult periods. In 1934-1936 the actual Dust Bowl happened. This was when the massive and deadly storms hit the prosper and growing Midwest Panhandle. In 1936, a more severe storm spread out of the plains and across most of the nation.

    The drought years were followed with record breaking heavy rains, blizzards, tornadoes and floods. In September 1930, it rained over five inches in a very short time in the Oklahoma Panhandle. The flooding in Oklahoma was accompanied by a dirt storm, which damaged several small buildings and other farm structures. Later that year, the regions were hit again by a strong dirt storm from the southwest until the Winds gave way to a blizzard from the north. After the blizzards in winter 1930-1931, the drought began. First, the northern plains were hit by the dry spell, but by July the southern plains were in a drought. It was not until late September that the ground had enough water to Justity planting. Because of the late planting and early frost, much of the wheat was damaged when the spring winds of 1932 began to blow. In March, there were twenty-two days of dirt storms and drifts began to build in the fenceroWS. In late January 1933, the region wass blasted by a horible dirt storm, which killed almost all the wheat, but what was left was pretty much useless in making a profit. In early February, the thermometer dropped seventy-four degrees in eighteen hours to a record low at Boise CIty. Before the year as over, locals counted 139 dirty days in 1933.

    Although the dirt storms were fewer in 1934, It was the year, which brought the Dust Bow national attention. In May, a severe storm blew dirt from Texas, oklahoma and Kansas as Far East as New York City and Washington D.C. In spite of the terriftic storm in May, the year 1934 was pleasant respite from the blowing dirt and tornadoes of the previous year. But nature had another trick up her sleeve, the year was extremely hot with new records being made and broken at regular intervals. Before the year had run its course, hundreds of people in Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas had died from the heat. In 1935, the weather in the Dust Bowl again made the national headlines. This storm was followed by another and yet another in rapid succession.

    A description of this storm of coming was made by a farmer: The storm causes a tremendous amount of damage and suffering A giant dust storm engulfs Boise City. Cyclic winds rolled up two miles high, stretched out a hundred miles and moved faster than 50 miles an hour. These storms destroyed vast areas of the Great Plains farmland. The methods of fighting the dust ere as many and varied as were the means of finding a way to get something to eat and wear. Every possible crack was plugged, sheets were placed over Windows and blankets were hung behind doors. often the places were so tightly plugged against the dust (which still managed to get in) that the houses became extremely hot and stutty. The clouds appeared on the horizon with a thunderous roar. Turbulent dust clouds rolled in generally from the North and dumped ine silt over the land. Men, women, and children stayed in their houses and tied handkerchiefs over their noses and mouths.

    When they dared to leave, they added goggles to protect their eyes. Houses were shut tight, cloth was wedged in the cracks of the doors and windows but still the fine slt forced its way into houses, schools and businesses. During the storms, the air indoors was “swept’ with wet gunnysacks. Sponges were used as makeshift “dust masks” and damp sheets were tied over the beds. Black Sunday April 14, 1935. The dust storm that turned day into night. Many believed the world was coming to an In conclusion, The Dust Bowl was a treacherous storm, which occurred in the 1930ãeTMs, that affected the midwestern people, for example thee tarmers, and which taught us new technologies and methods of farming. From that time the people of the Midwest have learned new ways to survive from a treacherous and such deadly disaster. New technologies and fam equipment help farmers with tending to crops if there was another Dust BowlM Dut massive winds are something that canaet be controlled or helped with.

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