Hurricane-force winds ripped over the upper Midwest of the United States on Thursday evening, depositing walls of dust across cities and rural villages, causing significant property damage and killing at least two people.
According to meteorologists and soil experts, straight-line winds of up to 105 miles per hour (169 kph) extended from Kansas to Wisconsin, sending waves of farming topsoil across the horizon and plunging cities into darkness.
Farmers compared the dust wall to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, when winds blew storage buildings onto tractors and flipped cars on roadways.
According to the National Weather Service, a fallen tree killed one person near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a second person was killed in Minnesota when a grain bin crashed on a car.
“The damage is extensive,” said Todd Heitkamp, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. According to him, the most serious damage occurred in Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota.
Farmers stated that as the winds died down, a gritty layer of black mud covered wind turbine blades and clogged drainage ditches, as rich top soil, essential for producing crops, swept off some fields.