Mt. St. Helens- May 18, 1980

#Mt. St. Helens USForestService

By #DiarmuidO'Dea

I remember with utter clarity hearing Mt. St. Helens erupt early Sunday morning May 18, 1980. I was in Vancouver, Canada loading my golf clubs into my lovely MGB sports car. I was going to play golf at Squamish Valley GC . I didn't know what the sound was at that moment, but it was loud and clear. Vancouver, Canada is approximately 300 miles away from Mt. St. Helens. Mt. St. Helens lies north of Portland, Oregon and south of Seattle, Washington near the town of Castle Rock, Washington. 

I confirmed that I heard the eruption during a 2012 visit to Mt. St. Helen's National Park. Our tour park guide said that the noise could be heard as far away as Regina, Saskatchewan. She also told us that  people living in nearby Portland, Oregon could not hear the blast because of the shape of the volcano, the side of the mountain that erupted, the jet stream and other reasons that I can't remember. 

Map to Mt. St. Helens

Recently there have been a flurry of small earthquakes in and around the volcano that may indicate coming volcanic activity. There is a real relationship between the many volcanoes on the west side of North America and the earthquake activity off the coast. 

I will cover off this topic in another blog but today on the anniversary of the 1980 eruption, I urge anyone who has not visited Mt. St. Helens to do so. The impact of the eruption on the surrounding landscape is prodigious, awe-inspiring and dumbfounding.  It is impossible to imaging the degree and enormity of the destruction. The monument inside Gifford Pinchot National Forest is well run; there is lots of parking, lots to see, and there are great volunteer tour guides to answer all your questions. 


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