1. the piles of gritty rock dust called as that were removed from I-5 just west of the mountain are massive. Life has been returning to the mountain turning what was barren ashfield into virgin forest.

  2. Most people who have personally experienced the raw power of Mama Nature, whether it be a hurricane, flood, tornado, volcanic eruption or even a sever thunderstorm like those on the Great Plains are humbly reminded how puny we humans are, even if in our conceit we see ourselves as the masters of the universe. Growing up in north Texas I saw it frequently, and I have seen it quite a few times in coastal NC, too.

  3. My wife Helen was in the house with our 2 week old son. Her own birthday was the next day. We lived 150 miles east of Mt. St Helens. As I stood in the yard I heard thunder from the west on the bright sunny Sunday. I quickly learned that it wasn't thunder as I saw the ash cloud turn the day into darkness. I went in the house and told her, "Your mountain just blew up!"

  4. My wife and I were staying at my cousin's in Seattle that weekend. I woke up to what sounded like a heavy unmuffled truck going by. A moment later my cousin was knocking on the bedroom door, saying, "Get up, the mountain just blew!"

    We lived in Camas (on the Columbia River, south of the mountain) then, and the next day we avoided I-5 as much as we could on the trip home. There were so many logs floating down the Columbia west of Longview that it looked as though a person could walk across the river.

  5. When it blew I was running a skylight factory in Tukwilla. In the weeks ahead we had over $750k contracts and orders cancelled.

  6. I lived in Toronto at the time. Had a newborn baby. The sunsets it made were gorgeous but I was advised not to take her out for a week. Even in Toronto there was an extra layer of soot on my car.

  7. I flew down from Seattle to Portland about 4 weeks later on a 20 seat puddle jumper, the pilot circled the mountain twice to give us a good view,a trees laid flat pointing away for miles around….

  8. I was in California then. I see it when fairly often when I cross the Columbia River, and I've been up there twice.

  9. It rattled my bedroom windows so hard it woke me up…to realize that I was late for school. Then the ash came…we were lucky, as most of the cloud went east, not south.

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