Smile Politely

What was up with that dust storm yesterday?

An empty field with blowing dust over a bright blue sky. Grass can be seen in the lower right corner.
Cam Crosby

Yesterday, an Emergency Alert went out to warn us of a large dust storm moving through the area with words like “Stay Alive!”. And indeed, severe storms and high winds came through our area, causing dust storms, a pileup on IL-54, and wind damage in many areas. I was curious about the dust and came across a post by the Prairie Rivers Network that explained that the dust is caused by exploitative farming practices that leaves fields bare over the winter. With no roots to hold it down, all of this loose soil can get churned up and blown around in high winds, creating these dangerous conditions.

A highway completely obscured by dust. blue sky and an oncoming car are barely visible.
Joyce Benner Richter

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