Saturday, May 18, 2019

Mount Saint Helens 39th Volcano Eruption Anniversary

This May 18, 2019 Saturday morning in Texas is reminding me of the Sunday morning of May 18, 1980.

Thirty-nine years ago.

This morning I am hearing loud booms, which I am 100% certain are not being caused by nearby Mount Wichita erupting.

A severe thunderstorm is currently raging loud at my Wichita Falls location.

This morning 39 years I was peacefully soaking in a hot tub when suddenly loud concussive booms began rattling the walls and windows.

I got out of the tub. A few minutes later the next door neighbor arrived to ask if we had heard.

Heard what, we asked?

The mountain has erupted was the answer.

There was no mystery as to what mountain had erupted. Mount St. Helens had been in active mode for months, with a large area around Mt. St. Helens with restricted access.

But, not restricted sufficiently. 57 people died in the eruption.

In the months prior to May 18, 1980 I had driven south to the north restricted zone to try and get a look at the suddenly active volcano. But that attempt to see was to no avail due to cloud cover.

That hot tub I was soaking in when Mount Saint Helens blew up was in Mount Vernon, about 150 north of the eruption, as a crow flies.

The eruption created a bit of a panic in the Pacific Northwest, with a rush on stores to get ash masks and, if I remember right, some sort of additional air filter thing for vehicles.

The initial eruption sent ash to the east, not north. One of the subsequent eruptions did send a small amount of ash as far north as the Skagit Valley. I do not remember ever feeling the need to use the ash mask I had ready to use.

Hard to believe that BIG BOOM was 39 years ago. Seems so recent in my memory.

Below is a Mount St. Helens video tribute to Pacific Northwest legend, Harry Truman. According to the video the song was a #1 hit. I do not remember this, but at that point in time I likely was not paying any attention to such things as what might be a #1 hit.

But listening to the Harry Truman Your Spirit Lake Lives On song it seems real clear that this was the first of the genre which was to become known as Seattle Grunge a decade later...

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