Parched Colorado farmland buried in sand, snow

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click image to zoomColoradoThe Colorado Drought Monitor Map released on April 11. Lincoln County highlighted. Dust bowl-like conditions inundated eastern Colorado farmland last week. A combination of drought and dust storms covered more than 100,000 acres of land in Lincoln County, Colo.,
with up to one foot of sand and dirt, according to Colorado 9 News.

"It looks like the Sand Dunes, but it's all agricultural land covered up with dirt," rancher Marc Hollenbaugh said.

KRDO News Channel 13 reports that the dust storms, with winds gusting up to 75 miles per hour, reduced visibility and forced officials to close a stretch of Interstate 25 nearly the Pueblo County and El Paso County border. Read more.

Now, a week later, these fields are covered in up to 4 inches of snow. However, according to ranchers, the region needs 4 inches of rain – not snow – to help undo the damage.

Read more from Colorado 9 News or click on the video above for the full report.

The Seasonal Drought Outlook for the state offers little relief for Lincoln County ranchers and others in the parched state. It shows drought persisting over much of Colorado through the end of June.  Currently 46 percent of the state is in extreme or worse drought, which includes all of Lincoln County.  

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