Story #20: Sheets of mud on the windshield

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By Debbie King

I experienced the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980. At the time, I lived in Glenoma, and was told that my home was five miles from the red zone by air.

I was in the shower when the mountain erupted and could hear the blast. I quickly dressed, grabbed my kids and an umbrella and ran to the car. It was “raining” pumice stones, and the bright, sunny day turned foggy-looking with a strong smell of sulfur.

As we got into the car, sheets of mud covered my windshield, and I knew that I couldn’t drive anywhere. It then turned pitch black. My parents lived next door, and as I started running toward their house with my children to check on them, my dad was running toward me with an umbrella.

We didn’t know how many people were hurt or worse. With the power out, we were cut off from outside communications for quite some time. For weeks, we experienced whiteout conditions while driving. It was quite an experience!

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Now & Then here and now

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