Texas Drought

2011 was the driest year ever recorded in Texas. The state suffered through an extreme drought that dried up its lakes and creeks. Crops and trees withered and died. Ranchers were forced to slaughter their hungry and thirsty cattle. Agriculture and livestock losses alone were more than $5 billion.

2011 was the driest year ever recorded in Texas. The state suffered through an extreme drought that dried up its lakes and creeks. Crops and trees withered and died. Ranchers were forced to slaughter their hungry and thirsty cattle. Agriculture and livestock losses alone were more than $5 billion. On July 27, a cow looked for a piece of green grass in the bottom of an empty stock tank near Manor.
Terry Hash pauses after searching in the cracked soil for cotton seeds in his 175-acre cotton field in Garfield, Texas, on August 18, 2011. Hash planted 800 acres of cotton, corn, wheat and sorghum, and almost all of it was destroyed by the drought. Despite having insurance, Hash said he worries about how he is going to pay his farm loans and borrow more money for next season’s crops. ‘Lots of sleepless nights,’ Hash said. ‘You lay in bed wondering what the hell you’re going to do.’
On a moonlit night on August 10, 2011, a boat is beached in the Cypress Creek arm of Lake Travis in Austin. Waterfront properties in this area of Lake Travis barely have a view of water, and their boats and docks rest on dry land.
Chuck Tomlin uses a shovel to try to stop a fire in the back yard of a house in Bastrop, Texas, on September 5, 2011. The Bastrop County Complex fire burned 34,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,500 homes. Two people were killed.
Flames engulf a house in the Steiner Ranch subdivision in Austin on September 4, 2011. The blaze destroyed dozens of homes and forced hundreds to evacuate. High winds and the drought also fueled fires in Pflugerville, Cedar Park, Bastrop County and Spicewood
Dorothy Muschalek says a prayer at her destroyed home in Bastrop on September. 20, 2011. “It feels like I’m visiting a grave,” she said. The fire in Bastrop was the most destructive wildfire in Texas history.
This corn is typical of the condition of hundreds of acres of corn that were destroyed by drought on this farm in Round Rock.
David Tucker, a ranch hand at Rocking H Ranch in Garfield, gives water to an exhausted cow who was mired in the mud at the bottom of a stock tank on July 27, 2011. The eight-year-old cow survived the ordeal but two weeks later she got stuck again and died.
Underweight cattle wait in a pen to be auctioned at the Gillespie Livestock Company in Fredericksburg on August 10, 2011. Many ranchers could not afford to buy hay for their cattle.
Dead trees are silhouetted against the dawn sky in Wyldwood, Texas, on August 18, 2011.
A water slide and a rope swing are rendered useless at a pond that has dwindled to just a few inches deep in Old Dime Box on July 14, 2011.
A catfish can barely move on the edge of a pond in that has dwindled to just a few inches deep on July 14, 2011, in Old Dime Box.
A whirlwind kicks up dust in Garfield on August 18, 2011, a day that saw a high temperature of 106.
Docks are crowded in the dwindling water at Lake Travis on October 3, 2013.
As Lake Travis dropped to record low water levels, Christopher Britton, Cameron Reid and Andrea Renteria sit among exposed trees stumps at Bob Wentz Park on August 30, 2013.
Sailboats rest on dry ground in a shrinking cove at Lake Travis on October 3, 2013.
The bones of a cow lay on the ground next to a dry stock tank in Bastrop on Sept. 25, 2011. Some climatologists believe Texas is in the first year of a mega-drought that could last ten years.