Share your memories of the eruption

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by Frank Mungeam

Bio | Email | Follow: @KGWNews

kgw.com

Posted on May 18, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Updated Monday, May 17 at 6:02 PM

Where were you when the mountain blew? Everyone who lived through the eruption of Mt. St. Helens has a story to go with it. Here is how our own KGW anchor/reporter Wayne Havrelly recalls that day.

We encourage you to add YOUR recollections of the eruption. Just click on the COMMENTS box below and share your story!

 

Wayne Havrelly: It's hard to believe it's been 30 years! When the mountain first came to life in April of 1980, I was a student at Washougal High School. It was a Friday night and I went with a friend to the Grateful Dead concert at the Memorial Coliseum. In the middle of the show, right after the band played "Fire on the Mountain", Jerry Garcia announced that Mt. St. Helen had erupted. It was a small eruption, but actually the Portland area was blanketed with a coating of ash that night. When I went to work at a local golf course early the next morning, I learned that ash was slippery. I slid down a hill on a tractor into a pond. My boss loved that. Thanks Mt. St. Helens!

May 18th, 1980 was a Sunday. I was in church with my family in Washougal on that day when the congregation felt some shaking. We looked out the window and the entire sky to the north looked to be a boiling mushroom cloud. Someone said "we've been bombed", and my heart sank until someone in the crowd said, "the mountain blew." I remember hearing nervous laughing. We headed to higher ground to get a better look at the spectacle. Since that time I've experienced large Hurricanes, one of the deadliest tornado's in the U.S. history and many devastating forest fires while covering news around the country. Nothing compares with what I experienced on May 18th, 1980. We drove up I-5 and stood by the raging mud and ash filled Toutle river as in raced into the Columbia. As a kid I camped on Mt. St. Helens and spent time at Spirit Lake and hunted all around the mountain with my Dad. It was always a very special place to me. After the eruption's awesome show of power, it's even more special.

Add YOUR recollections by filling out the COMMENTS area below!

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