Mount St. Helens

News staff flew over Mount St. Helens to document the aftermath of the eruption on Wednesday, August 20, 1980. During their aerial tour of the devastation, the news team noted that the lava dome, forming in the crater, has been compared in size to the Kingdome in Seattle. They also added, the May 18 explosion, which ripped out this crater, tore off 1,300 feet of the mountain top. The explosive force was 2,500 times greater than the atomic bomb that destroyed the city of Hiroshima, Japan to end World War II. “I was at South Hill Park starting softball practice with my fellow teammates from Grizzly Bear Pizza... just warming up when someone drove by and told us Mount St. Helens blew. So much for practice!” Tim Graff said.

Guillermo Castaneda: The sunny morning turned into scary, black night; the black night then returned back into sunny morning, but our lucious-green Valley was finger-snapped, magically, sadly, into landscape of powdery, grey ash.

Sherri Pyatt Tieslau: Weeding my Family’s garden in Prosser. I felt the ground rumble for just a second. Used the collected ash in ceramics class at Prosser HS.

Susan Skeeters: Doing yard work in Grandview. Our youngest son, who was 2 at the time, kept running around the yard yelling “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!!”

Linda Lortie: At work at a nursing home in Yakima. Our boss came in and climbed up on the roof to stuff towels in the vents to keep the ash from coming in. My husband was in the mountains fishing...he didn’t get home for 3 days. They broke into a friends cabin to get in out of the ash and dust.

Bob Story Jr.: Still in bed, nursing a hangover

Chrissa Pena: I was living in Bremerton and this is one of my earliest memories. I was 3 years old and in my orange Raggedy Ann blanket in my mom’s arms. It had blown and she wrapped me up and walked me next door to my grandma’s house. I recall looking up at the sky and thinking it was snowing, but it was warm out. I was so confused and my mom was shaking.

Gayle Amundson-Pykonen: My sister Bunny lived next door on our farm south of town. We were watching the sky get darker [...] and all the lightening without thunder. We got a call it was St. Helens blowing and ash was coming right at us. [...] Bunny and I raced around stuffing it FULL with the sheep lambs cows and calves. Plus 2 horses. It looked like Noah’s ark. [...] The BIG barn light came on and we were dirty with ash and tired!!!

Darla Van Corbach: Woke up early that morning (like 6) and went back to bed — you know how it is, I was 18. [...] Woke back up and it was dark, I was furious with my mom [...] because I had thought she had let me sleep all day and that I had missed work only to find out it was still morning and the Mountain had blown.

Ryan Maxwell: I was 7 years old sitting on a couch in my family room in Grandview when my uncle walked in to tell us about the eruption. We drove up Euclid to the top of the hill to watch the show. The ash began to fall like snow.

Bridget Mehre: I was outside feeding my 100+ rabbits when the ash started falling down. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew that it wasn’t good for my bunnies [...] Then I went inside and my parents told me what happened.

Llesenia Ramos: I was in my mom’s tummy. She remembers being home and seeing the picture frames shaking on the wall from the eruption. Later that day or next she said she saw a thin layer of ash om her car. I’ve got the news paper from that day saved.

Trudie Eberle: Getting ready to go boating and water skiing at Crowe’s Butte [...] all of sudden sky gray and white ashes falling needles to say we stayed home oh my goodness what a mess and sad day we will never forever!

Cathy Young: At home...I was yelling at the boys for throwing sand at one!!

Joyce Bos Golob: I was out cutting asparagus for Herman Kilian...Mrs. Kilian brought us out white masks to wear and we didn’t stop until the job was done. Good memories working for the Kilian family!

Dave Stanton: Zillah sleepin away, brother came in screaming it’s the end of the world, ha ha

Nick Schademan: Was sleeping in after a really big party night got up( with a slight hangover) looked out the window thinking it was still night and went back to bed.

Judy Senn: Leaving Sunnyside hospital after having my hysterectomy. I thought the world was coming to an end.

Wanita Brown: Sunnyside I was walking home down South 11th Street and I noticed the clouds and thought a big storm was coming didn’t know it was not Saint Helens blow round to get my laundry off the line and seen a big lightning bolt go through the clouds

Linda Williams: preparing for a barbecue to celebrate my 6th wedding anniversary, had to pool all cleaned out for the kids to go swimming.

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