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Drought conditions in the region worsen; likelihood of dust storms remain low

By Deion Broxton

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    ST. LOUIS, Missouri (KMOV) — Officials with the National Weather Service warn of continuing drought conditions across the Midwest.

NWS said conditions in April and the first part of May have been a cause for concern. Currently, central Missouri has the worst conditions in the area. Officials said the likelihood of another dust storm is very rare.

Last week, a chain-reaction crash occurred about 20 minutes south of Springfield, Illinois on Interstate 55. Illinois State Police reported blowing dust from a farm field contributed to zero visibility and a total of seven people dying in a fiery crash.

“That was just a bad combination of factors. Some of them human and some of it nature, but it wasn’t…it wasn’t a severe drought…We just haven’t had much rain,” said Mark Fuchs, a senior service hydrologists with the National Weather Service. “We have a very clay base soil across much of Missouri. That part of Illinois has more silt in it. It’s a little easier for that to get airborne as dust.”

The forecast doesn’t show much rain in the coming weeks.

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