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Visit Mount St. Helens virtually for 40th anniversary of eruption

The gates on SR 504 closed along with Johnston Ridge Observatory, and visitor centers will be closed on May 18.

SKAMANIA COUNTY, Wash. — Officials are asking people to observe the 40th anniversary of the Mount St. Helens eruption remotely as social distancing measures remain in place in Washington state due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The gates on State Route 504 near Coldwater Lake will remain closed for the anniversary, as will the Johnston Ridge Observatory and its visitor center and the Washington State Parks visitor center.

“May is Volcano Awareness Month, a time we want you to not just look at Mt. St. Helens, but remember we have four other active volcanoes in our state – Mount Rainer, Mt. Adams, Mt. Baker and Glacier Peak,” said Brian Terbush, volcano program preparedness coordinator for the Washington Emergency Management Division. “This year, please visit virtually with the many, many scientists and experts willing to share information and listen to your memories of what happened on May 18 and the years that followed.” 

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The Mount St. Helens Institute compiled events on its website to help people experience the state's most active volcano from a distance. 

Mount St. Helens anniversary events 

May 16 at 6 p.m. – 45-minute Facebook Live event with Bill Nye in conversation with the Mount St. Helens Institute and KING 5.

May 17 at 3:30 p.m. – On the eve of the anniversary of the 1980 eruption, the Portland Art Museum and Mount St. Helens Institute will host a live event through Zoom and Facebook to reflect on the art, culture and science of the mountain's landscape.

May 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Volcano Program Preparedness Coordinator Brian Terbush will host a Facebook Live.

May 18 at 2 p.m. – A National Forest Service ranger will discuss the events of May 18, 1980 followed by a Q&A session on Facebook.

May 18 from 6-8:30 p.m. – Washington State Parks hosts a live event with a special 40th Eruption Anniversary program.

May 18 at 6:30 p.m. – Northwest scientists present a review of Cascadia tectonics, volcanoes, hazards, and a summary of how the science and monitoring has evolved. The event will be live on YouTube and Facebook.

The Mount St. Helens Institute will add new events to its website. Check back for more.