Drought recalls long, punishing dry spell of 1950s

August 14, 2011 - 3:45 PM

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — After enduring nearly a year of drought, Texans have grown accustomed to seeing acres of withered crops, scores of dried-up ponds and mile after mile of cracked earth.

But the drought that began last fall has yet to eclipse the infamous dry spell of the 1950s, a bleak period when the skies stubbornly withheld moisture. It was the state's worst drought ever.

Nearly everyone who lived through that time remembers constant hardship. Water supplies ran so low some communities had to import it from Oklahoma. Farms and ranches failed. And the lack of rain actually changed the state's demographics because so many families fled rural agricultural areas for cities.

Now Texans who remember that desperate decade are facing another intense drought that could drag on for at least another year.