Tuesday, May 19, 2009

29 Years Ago Today...

A Mountain Exploded

Mt. St. Helens before the 1980 eruption

all is serene

Back on May 18, 1980 , the landscape of Washington State was
changed forever. A mountain named Mount Saint Helens blew
it's top at a little after 8:32 am. The explosion was set off by a
5.1 earthquake, 1 mile below the ground. This immediately caused
the north side of the mountain to collapse, triggering a rapid
chain of events that caused widespread devastation.

Thirteen hundred feet of the mountain peak collapsed or blew
out sideways, causing massive mudflows that filled 24 square miles
of the valley below. The blast flattened trees, destroyed forest
and recreation land, wrecked homes and bridges and roads. But
the worst loss was the 57 lives that were ended.

After 9 hours of eruptions and ash, the mountain had done
it's worst. Complete annihilation in the nearby areas. Wreckage
that would take decades to recover from.

...and after the blast

The beautiful Spirit Lake before...

and after...

The following pictures were taken by my Grandparents home.
They lived a little over an hour from the mountain and had several
inches of ash to contend with. I was told it stayed around for months.
Everyone wore masks to protect their lungs. There was so much
ash, that to this day, there are still stockpiles that artists use to
create beautiful glass artwork from.

Today I live about 10 minutes from where my Grandparent's
used to live, but in 1980, at the age of 5, I lived 3 hours north.
I remember that we were visiting family out of town and
immediately drove home, to beat the ash I assume. I only
remember having a light dusting of the icky gray stuff
at home. I don't remember being at all scared, if it were to
happen today, I think I would be much more terrified.

I guess no matter where you live, you take your chances with
Mother Nature. Here in Washington, most of the time it's pretty
mild. We only have to worry about the occasional flooding or
a Volcano erupting every once in a while, God willing, I won't
see another one of those in my lifetime!

Mount Saint Helens
Split Image
before and after

God Bless all the families that lost loved ones on this terrible
day. Your loved ones are not forgotten, we will remember...


Allidink said...

How terrifying. That is why I can never move anywhere near a volcano I am almost afraid of those as much as tornadoes. :\ I just don't like disasters lol. I'm glad you and your family were ok :)

All the best,

Rebecca said...

I was totally mesmerized by these pictures. Thank you so much for sharing! I remember well the explosion...I was newly married and recall hearing of the spewing ash...

In Oklahoma we have Tornadoes and they can be very frightening. When I lived in California we had earthquakes. Equally scary.

As a result of living through nature's wrath (?), these days I'm much more aware of what is around me and the fragility of our planet. No place on earth is totally safe I suppose...but every single patch of land is beautiful none-the-less. I hope we all start taking better care of it!

Thank you for opening my mid-west eyes to all you and your state experienced...


Prim's by Kim said...

Yikes! I remember that day, even though I was much younger (**smile**) Thanks for sharing the photos.

BTW, yes I have available that little thing you asked me about. Drop me your email and we can discuss further =D


A Joyful Chaos said...

Thanks so much for sharing your interesting post.
I just found your blog and enjoyed it very much. I'll be back to read more once I have more time.

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOSH - those photos were eye-opening. Natural disasters are so scary.

I really look forward to seeing what you have to say in here as it is always interesting, and also to seeing you on my blog - I thank you for visiting.

Have a great evening, xJ

Eclectic Pink Rose said...

Wow, I remember hearing about this, but I didn't remember how many lives were lost. So tragic and what a blessing your family was unharmed. I did have a small jar of the ash that a friend had brought me back after a visit to their family that lived there. Amazing photos!!
♥ Teresa

Paint Girl said...

Thanks for the great photos!
I will never forget that day either! Do you remember what the parents said to us after it happened? I do, and I think it traumatized me! Kiddin'!
I didn't realize your grandparents got ash. Natural disasters are scary, you just never know when they will come and how must destruction they will do.

tales from an oc cottage said...

I cannot believe it has been that long! I do remember just how far the ash traveled though...they say Mammoth, Baldy all the others could very well go the same way...Maine is looking pretty good to me lately! :0

m ^..^

Lisa said...

Sad to say but I remember that well, we watched it on tv for days. It was scary even all the way here in NC. I feel old thinking of remembering it. I guess maybe when you are young it sticks with you more (I was 11). Or maybe just things you can never have control over are the scariest! I hope your family was ok, and it is sad to think of all those we lost that day.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Lisa

xinex said...

I can imagine how scary seeing and experiencing that would be.Your pictures are amazing! Thanks for sharing them and the story too!...Christine

Pony Girl said...

Great pictures, thanks for the little history lesson. I think I had a t-shirt once when I was a kiddo, around 9 years old, that said something about the eruption. I think I'd rather risk the chance of an eruption than tornadoes or hurricanes....Paint Girl, what did your parents say to you after?

Valerie said...

Wow, where did 29 years go? I was 10 and even though I lived in the Heartland of America it was a major topic of disucssion in the classroom...not to scare us, but to use the eruption as a teachable moment about volcanoes.

Glad that your grandparents were okay physically from the aftermath.


Mermaids of the Lake said...

Sares, that was very interesting and nice to see such great photos. I was a senior in high school on that historic day, in Spokane. It started "snowing" ash. The whole sky got dark and it just started floating to the ground. We didn't know what it was. We turned on the TV and heard the news. It was a huge mess even as far away as Spokane. We missed two weeks of school and our graduation was delayed. Thanks for sharing and I am so glad that your grandparents were okay.

Mermaid Debbie