Sand lot concerns county residents

Argen Duncan

A bare field is drawing complaints from neighbors tired of years of blowing sand.

The 40-acre field is at the intersection of Roosevelt Roads P and 4. Kendall Terry, who lives beside it, said half a dozen neighbors are affected by the large amounts of sand that blow from it during the spring.

Terry brought the problem before the Roosevelt County Commission April 19, who had a letter sent field owner Bennie Aday asking him to fix the problem and decided to bill him for cleaning the sand out of the ditches along the road.

Terry said Aday plows the field in December, after fall rains, and the dryland wheat has no moisture to grow. The field has remained bare with sand blowing for several years, he said.

“If it was a one-time occurrence, I wouldn’t have a problem,” Terry said. “But when it’s every year, year after year, something has to be done.”

He said sand covers his lawn and he’s had to dig it out several times. The dust coats furnishings inside the house and requires him to blow out air filters once a week, Terry said.

“If it ever does rain, the water is going to go into the road instead of the bar ditch because the bar ditch is plumb full of sand,” Terry continued.

Dirt blowing across the road interferes with visibility and is covering pastureland on the other side of the street, he said.

Before Aday owned the field, Terry said, it always had a cover crop that held down the soil.

Robin Inge, who lives across the street from the field at the intersection of Roads 4 and P, said her house gets the brunt of the sand when the wind blows from the west.

“We’re not happy with it,” she said.

There’s too much dirt in her front yard, and her family can’t use their outdoor grill without cleaning it first, Inge said.

“I don’t dust anymore,” she said. “It does absolutely no good.”

Inge said her grandchildren enjoy writing in the dust on the furniture and playing in the inch of soil she says has been known to accumulate on the porch.

However, she said the main problem is that the sand drifts across the road and she’s worried a motorist might hit it and flip their vehicle.

Inge estimated the field has been a major problem for four or five years. Tumbleweeds caused trouble before the sand, she said.

“I don’t want to cause trouble,” Inge said. “I just want the problem fixed.”

Bill Owen, who lives across the street from Terry, said he removed two semi-trailer loads of sand from his yard last year, and now it’s full of blown soil again. He’s seen the visibility down to 50 feet because of the blowing dirt, Owen said.

Owen is also concerned about cars hitting drifted sand in the road and rolling.

“It’s not likely to happen, but it sure could,” he said.

Aday did not return phone calls seeking comment.