Thirty-two years ago today, Mount Saint Helens blew its top. I was eight and saw the massive plume of ash from our backyard berm in Portland.
Heather was living on the East Coast in 1980, so her memories of the eruption are from National Geographic. However since she’s moved here we’ve made a few pilgrimages – in 2008, and also in 2010.
Two years ago, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary, OregonLive collected a bunch of stories about the eruption: Mount St. Helens eruption: 30 years later. Check out the Columbian‘s coverage too. And don’t miss my 2008 reminiscences on this very blog.
Photo credit: Heather!
I was 10 and our family was driving on I-5. The sky darkened and the police closed the freeway. I was scared as we turned around on the freeway and were escorted to the nearest exit behind us. I remember being worried that the ash was toxic. We didnt have the internet to research back then. I just held my breath as long as possible and hoped for the best after 1.5 minutes.
I remember about the eruption on the news. We were living in Georgia at the time and I was in 8th grade. About a week after the eruption our class was outside for recess and ash started to fall like small gentle snowflakes. It lasted for most of the afternoon and we felt a connection to the event that destroyed so much.