WVPB Staff Published

Agencies Investigating Dust Cloud In Eastern Panhandle

Clouds above the curvature of the EarthNOAA/Flickr

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is investigating the appearance of dust clouds across multiple counties in the state’s Eastern Panhandle.

Inspectors were mobilized to collect samples and identify potential sources after receiving reports late Thursday night.

The source has not been identified and no shelter in place advisories have been issued for the area.

“We have staff on site who are coordinating with our state and local partners to identify the material and any potential causes,” said DEP Division of Air Quality Director Laura Crowder. 

The DEP is working with the Berkeley County Office of Emergency Services and the state Department of Agriculture to collect additional samples and have them analyzed.

Samples will also be taken to the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey in Morgantown to determine if the cause of the dust is related to recent dust storms in the Midwest.

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture, West Virginia Emergency Management Division and the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office are also investigating the situation.