The 1930s Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms that primarily affected the states of Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico. The conditions were mostly caused by a severe drought, combined with poor agricultural practices, which led to tons of topsoil being blown away in wind storms.
The areas most affected by the dust storms stretched from southeastern Colorado to western Kansas and northeastern New Mexico, but the worst devastation occurred in the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas. Still, the effects weren't limited to the southern plains, as the conditions also hit as far away as Nevada, North and South Dakota and Arkansas. During the worst years of the Dust Bowl, hundreds of millions of tons of topsoil were swept away, leading to one of the worst environmental disasters the United States has ever experienced.
The Dust Bowl saw as many as 100,000 to 200,000 people across the country be forced from their homes and farms due to the widespread agricultural devastation. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 60 percent of the people living in the region were forced to flee, with a significant number of those moving to the far western states like California and Oregon.