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More Dust Storms Expected as Texas Drought Lingers

October 22, 2011

By Betsy Blaney, The Associated Press

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LUBBOCK, Texas - Meteorologists say people in West Texas could see more dust storms like the 8,000-foot-tall cloud that hit Lubbock on Monday on the state`s epic drought continues.

But they also say a return of the Dust Bowl is unlikely because of modern irrigation and farming techniques aimed at holding soil in place.

Dust storms form when wind whips up loose soil. They aren`t unusual in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, although experts say the size and speed of Monday`s cloud was rare.

One thing that Texas farmers to do prevent such storms is "sandfighting." They poke small holes in the ground after heavy rain to create small mounds that provide resistance as wind moves across the surface and prevent dirt from taking flight.

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Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Story image: This Monday, Oct. 17, 2011, photo shows a billowing wall of red dust approaching Lubbock, Texas. Meteorologists say people living on the parched High Plains of Texas could see more of the massive dust storms reminiscent of the Dust Bowl years as a record drought tightens its grip across the Southwest. AP Photo/John Holsenbeck.

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