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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

5-18-2010 (Tuesday)

Hello, hello ladies and gentlemen. I hope this Tuesday finds you well. Today marks the 30th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

" At 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted.

Shaken by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, the north face of this tall symmetrical mountain collapsed in a massive rock debris avalanche. In a few moments this slab of rock and ice slammed into Spirit Lake, crossed a ridge 1,300 feet high, and roared 14 miles down the Toutle River.

The avalanche rapidly released pressurized gases within the volcano. A tremendous lateral explosion ripped through the avalanche and developed into a turbulent, stone-filled wind that swept over ridges and toppled trees. Nearly 150 square miles of forest was blown over or left dead and standing.

At the same time a mushroom-shaped column of ash rose thousands of feet skyward and drifted downwind, turning day into night as dark, gray ash fell over eastern Washington and beyond. Wet, cement-like slurries of rock and mud scoured all sides of the volcano. Searing flows of pumice poured from the crater. The eruption lasted 9 hours, but Mount St. Helens and the surrounding landscape were dramatically changed within moments.

A vast, gray landscape lay where once the forested slopes of Mount St. Helens grew. In 1982 the President and Congress created the 110,000-acre National Volcanic Monument for research, recreation, and education. Inside the Monument, the environment is left to respond naturally to the disturbance"

So I was wondering those of you who are from the northwest or really anywhere. Where were you when the mt blew? I was in grade school and I remember being pretty aware of it but I do not think I really realized the enormity of the damage it caused. I still haven't been up to the viewing center despite having driven past the area numerous times.

What are your thoughts and memories about the event readers?
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