One of the worst storms of the Dust Bowl, ‘Black Sunday’ was said to have stripped the Earth of ~600,000,000 pounds of fertile Prairie topsoil; April 14, 1935.
And this is what lead to the Soil Conservation Act.
“People caught in their own yards grope for the doorstep. Cars come to a standstill, for no light in the world can penetrate that swirling murk…. The nightmare is deepest during the storms. But on the occasional bright day and the usual gray day we cannot shake from it. We live with the dust, eat it, sleep with it, watch it strip us of possessions and the hope of possessions” – Avis D. Carlson, The New Republic
Here’s a map of where the storms took place:
Soil ended up as far away as Washington, D.C.
Dust storm approaching Stratford, Texas, 18th April 1935
One of my favorite books is called “The Worst Hard Time” by Timothy Egan. It’s about the dust storms and resulting dust bowl in the 1930s and what precipitated them. And how people coped (usually by leaving.)
NOAA George E. Marsh Album, theb1365, Historic C&GS Collection