The 1930s Dust Bowl affected the entire southwestern Great Plains, with the Oklahoma panhandle suffering the most severe circumstances. By 1934, 75 percent of the United States was damaged by the drought, affecting a total of 27 states, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center.
In addition to the Oklahoma panhandle, the Dust Bowl conditions were particularly severe in the western third of Kansas, southeastern Colorado, the northern two-thirds of the Texas panhandle and northeastern New Mexico. The overproduction of wheat and overgrazing of cattle destroyed millions of acres of grasslands as reflected in a Library of Congress article on the Dust Bowl. These harsh environmental changes were accompanied by naturally occurring high winds which ravaged the area partially due to lack of soil conservation knowledge.