The 1988-1989 drought affected 45% of the United States. It became one of the worst droughts that ever occurred in North America. In some areas, the biting drought was felt up to 1990. The blowing dust covered almost everything, causing some schools to be closed down, especially in South Dakota. When spring came, many weather stations recorded very low monthly data on rainfall.
Various devastating effects were felt by both people and animals. Starting with the forest fires, they consumed 793,880 acres of Yellowstone National park. The park was closed for the first time in history. To top it all, 4800-17,000 people succumbed to death as a result of the heat waves of the drought. The scorching effects of the drought were felt in the North West, the Northern Great Plains and the West Coast as revealed by NCDC. Besides that, the drought cost the U.S government an estimated $39 billion, according to NCDC. It was therefore ranked as the most costly in the history of the United States, despite the fact that it covered a relatively smaller area, compared to the Dust Bowl, which affected 70 percent of the country.