18 May 2010

Before, During, After

Sunday, 18 May, 1980. 8:30 am
Mt. St. Helens, Washington state.
Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed.
More than 4 billion board feet (14.6 km³) of timber was damaged or destroyed, mainly by the lateral blast. As many as 1,500 elk and 5,000 deer were killed, and an estimated 12 million[6] Chinook and Coho salmon fingerlings died when their hatcheries were destroyed.  

231 miles away in a small coastal Oregon town, a sonic boom-like sound. On the beach now littered with small pieces of pumice, the ash fell like a late Spring snow shower around me.

Unforgettable.

1 comment:

  1. I is one thing to cast back and read about big historical events, and quite another to read about ones that have happened in our lifetime that we can personally connect to ourselves. I remember collecting ash in a couple of shoe boxes over the next few days after that 1st major eruption up at my sister's apartment in Gresham, OR. My nephew, Jay, was more enterprising at 8 years of age and bottled up about 2 dozen test tubes of ash to store ans sell at later dates as interest in the blast was revisited in the future. I believe he still has about a dozen left.

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