It’s Official: Drought in Southeast Colorado Worse than Dust Bowl

California is not the only state suffering from extreme drought. Southeastern Colorado has been dealing with an epic drought that has now lasted for three and a half years.

Alice Webb, 97, is a resident of Karval, Colorado. She lived through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. She says, “I’ve lived through the Great Depression, the drought in the 1950s, but nothing compares to what I’m seeing now.”

And writing for The Denver Post, Joey Bunch says, “Comparisons to the Dust Bowl are no longer hyperbole — they’re accurate.”

Since the latest drought officially set in late in the summer of 2010, the Arkansas Valley has been drier for a longer sustained period of time than during the Dust Bowl, said Nolan Doesken, the state climatologist at Colorado State University.

Images from Baca and Lincoln counties are apocalyptic. The topsoil has blown away. Tumbleweeds are piled up everywhere. Dust storms are common, some of which last for hours, pushing silt through every door and window.

As the drought worsens, the population continues to shrink. Residents sell their properties (if they can) and move to places with more opportunity.

Obviously, the drought in California and southeast Colorado are serious concerns, especially since these agricultural areas normally produce large amounts of food and livestock.

Food can’t grow and animals can’t live in places stricken by extreme drought.

“It’s just too much of a cycle of booms and busts,” Ward Williams, 65, said. “If it doesn’t get over soon, this (drought) might leave the land to the big corporate operations that can ride it out, and not for the people who grew up down here.”

Water… honey bees… good seeds… and good soil… these are the things that sustain life. It’s unfortunate that all of these seem to become scarcer with each passing year.