It was 30 years ago today on May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted.
The cataclysmic explosion took 57 lives and had a worldwide impact. KING 5 takes a look back at the historic event in Northwest history and asks viewers: Where were you when Mount St. Helens erupted?
Here are what some viewers are sharing:
Sue Fagering from Gig Harbor, Wash.
The morning Mt. St. Helen's blew, we lived in the No. End of Tacoma. I was 8 months pregnant at the time. I remember my husband had left early that beautiful Sunday morning for a baseball tournament at Peck field ...... I planned on going with, but had woke up earlier that morning having my own slight rumbling .... however, mine was due to some false labor pain. Eventually, Mt. St. Helen's calmed down, and so did Mt. (Fagering). I delivered a rambunctious baby boy on June 1st 1980. (See her photo)
Cindee Quist from Shelton, Wash.
I was 4 years old when the Mt. erupted. 7 days later the ash made it's way to Shelton. I still remember that ash feeling like talc powder. Our pastor took the attached picture of my sister (Left) and I on May 25, 1980. (See her photo)
Kelly Brown-Matteucci from Mountlake Terrace, Wash.
Here's a photo of our harrowing trip home from our friends' house in Aberdeen after the mountain blew. That's northbound on the freeway, south of Olympia. (See her photo).
KING 5 viewer olympiafj60 writes on YourNews:
The best part was not having to finish 2nd Grade. Had to go back to get my book fair books though, they came in after the 18th.
I think we had attended 8 o'clock mass, would have just been finishing communion at 8:36. We were home and probably already had breakfast. Lorence was over and he, David and I were playing outside, Sibel's house was just a whole in the ground and a dirt pile, we were playing in the dirt pile. Then the clouds started rolling in, it made the lake look dark an sinister, so we went down to play by the lake. At some point, His mom called and Lorence had to go home because the Mountain had erupted and they didn't know what was going to be in the ash clouds. Stephen was at a boy scout camp, up past Yakima I think and Christopher was down the street at some friends. As the darkness set in, there was a sliver of light, 360 degrees around the horizon. We settled in to cleaning storage closets. We didn't have cable and I think mom and dad just wanted to keep our minds of what was going on.
I remember not being able to drive anyplace. The Entz's took the neighborhood into town in their boat. Little red wagons in hand, the mom's walked to Butrey's to pick through what ever the store had available. Christopher and Stephen "got" to help clear off the roof, there were fears of collapse after it started raining. Dad has pictures of the mud flows off the shop roof, I need to remember to scan them next time I'm home. (See photo).
KING 5 viewer Licia Murphy-Shane Petitt comments on the KING 5 News Facebook page:
I lived in Okanogan. Our home was up in the mountains. I remember how dark it got during the day.We had to stay inside and my Grandparents, who grew up in the Dust Bowl, put damp towels under the front & back doors. We still have jars of ash that we saved.
KING 5 viewer Carolyn Fenton comments on the KING 5 News Facebook page:
I was living in Pomeroy and was 17 at the time when Mt. ST Helens blew. I remember hearing a big sonic boom louder than usual. Went to church, came home and laid down for my usual Sunday rest and when I woke up it was pitch dark. I thought I had slept through to the night. But it was only the middle of the afternoon. We then heard about the mountain on the news. Lots of controversy about wearing masks or not and they weren't sure about cars. What a day.
KING 5 viewer Wendy Britton of Bellevue, WA:
I was 14 and living in Orting at the base of Mount Rainier, and the night before Mt St Helens blew, my parents and brother and sister and I were camping on Rainier and as the evening came Saturday night, the birds would not fly, instead they would walk around on the ground and stand there stunned, the furry chipmunks we'd normally see, and all other animals were not in sight, and as dusk set in a cold wind blew in... my sister was 4 years old and developed a 'tummy ache' so we packed it up and went home and were all cozy in our beds at 8:32 Sunday morning when Mt St Helens awoke from her long sleep.
It's amazing how nature 'knows' but we have so much noise that we don't see these things, at the time I was 14 and mad that we had to go home just cause of my sister's stupid tummy ache. But she saved us from a bunch of trouble that day!
We were glad to have left Rainier as it was only 75 miles from the blast and not a good place to be on 5/18/80, with trees falling and other disturbances to Rainier as well.
Although we were only 100 miles away when home, the ash did not hit our house until about a year later when it started a weekly dusting on our car and most notably on my bike seat that I would have to clean off everytime I wanted to ride my bike for another year or so...as a contant reminder of the mountain.
We saw 2-3 other plumes over the summer from our house, and it was just an amazing time...our local grocery in our no stop light town, had a big sign that said Mt St Helens We LAVA LAVA you!
I ended up getting a minor in Geology when I went off to college because of my front line interest in the subject of volcanoes.