For a time Thursday, Feb. 19, it looked as though the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s might be returning to Kennett.
The eastern part of the city was blanketed with gritty dust Thursday which had been kicked-up by strong, gusty winds originating from a construction site on the Kennett Municipal Airport.
The dust was being blown from the land which had been cleared of brush and grass last fall in preparation for the expansion of the Kennett airport. The top soil had been left explosed and was being whipped into a choking brown cloud of dust. This dust cloud severely limited visibility not only at the airport, but for anyone driving on U.S. 412 and Independence Avenue (Missouri 25) in the area just north of the airport.
David Jewell of Jewell Aviation, said that while the airport was not closed to air traffic, landings and take offs were left to the pilots' own descretion. The dust, he said, created a hazardous situation for pilots.
"At certain times as I was driving down the taxiway the visibility was less than 10 feet," Jewell said.
The land south of the existing runway was cleared as the start of the project which will eventually see completion of a new, more than 5000 foot runway and taxiway at the airpot.
Missouri Department of Transportation engineers are expected to be in the city next week to work with local authorities in seeking a solution to the dust problem.