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Mount St. Helens, WA Volcano Eruption, May 1980

Mount St Helens Avalanche Before Eruption Mount St Helens, photo from wikipedia.org_ MT ST HELENS WASH MEMORIAL

JACK FOLLIOTT, who lives on a small farm at the volcano's base, said he heard it explode with a bang.
"This would be the end," he said he thought. "My whole life is tied up in those five acres. I don't know what I'll have when this is all over."
Private pilot BOB BOWER was flying high above the mountain when the explosion came. He said the blast was followed by a huge expanding cloud of smoke.

"It was moving so fast," he said. "The mountain was completely covered. It was massive. It was really unbelievable. It was traveling very fast."
UPI reporter GENE GIBBONS was on the outskirts of Cougar, at the base of the mountain's south slope, when it erupted.
"A huge billowing cloud of dark gray smoke hung motionless in the clear blue sky," GIBBONS said. "As I watched, the dark gray cloud rapidly expanded. It reminded me of something I hadn't seen since my Army days more than a decade ago -- massed artillery firing on a concentrated target."
The eruption sent what was described as walls of water and mud thundering down the Toutle River.
"I could hear it crackling from my house," said TOM HUNTINGTON, who lives at the mountain's base. He said he drove to a vantage point overlooking the Toutle River and saw a sea of logs traveling at about 25 mph.
"It was wall to wall logs, millions of dollars worth of timber," he said.
As smoke and ash continued to shoot upward more than 10 miles from the volcano's summit, a huge pungent cloud covered the sky over Eastern Washington as far as Spokane, 290 miles to the northeast.
Highways were closed because of inches of ash on the surface and poor visibility, and many persons reported breathing problems.
"When someone passes you on the street, you have to almost come to a complete stop because you can't see," said NADINE LEE, director of admissions at Valley Memorial Hospital in Yakima, Wash.
"The ash rolls up so fast. It's almost like an old-fashioned dirt road. The dust just boils up from the tires."

Daily Herald Chicago Illinois 1980-05-19

Continued

Comments

Mt Saint Helens Eruption

My wife and 2 daughters & I lived in North Portland when it went. It was unbelievable. The ash poured from the explosion for days. We were a substantial distance from it but our yard was covered with over an inch of ash. It was a mess. If you tried to sweep it, it flew away, if you wet it, it became sludge. It clogged filters and messed up machinery & autos. It did make a pretty nice fertilizer within a couple of years afterwards. It was an amazing event for those of us who lived nearby.

Mount St Helens Eruption Recovery

I was in the Unit 54th Medical Detachment from Ft Lewis, Wa. (Helicopter Ambulance). I was part of the aircrew that recovered the first five victums and brought them home. We searched cars and logging locations for survivors and victums. There was a lot of devestation in the area, and it would take a book to explain what I saw and did. I have written a book about it but havnt published it, or even let tomany people read it. The memories are still with me. This year is the 30th aniversary of the eruption, I would just like to recognize the 54th Medical Detachment for their bravery.. I would also like to thank the local community for the support they provided for us, friendship, food, clothing and someone to talk to. Good Job to all that participated in the rescue efforts, you care and concern is appreciated and you are not forgoten.

Mt. St. Helens eruption

Just another reminder that "We are all passengers on Mother Earth, and her fate is our destiny". It brings to light the incredible power that lurks beneath our feet.

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