• Friends of KIRO 7 share memories of the Mount St. Helens eruption


    SEATTLE - Today, 35 years have passed since Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington -- killing 57 people and raining ash throughout the state.

    A friend of KIRO 7, named Lisa Rainey, shared a photo of jarred ash -- writing: "Ashes and a newspaper from Mount St. Helen's blast from 1980...my grandma and grandpa scooped up ashes in their yard from the blast.”

    When the photo was shared on Facebook, many viewers began to share their memories of that day -- May 18, 1980.


    Priscilla Callaham -- ‘We went to a family reunion in Ellensberg right after. The ash was so deep the hosts had to shovel the ash from the patio. Then the lawn -- enough for people to put lawn chairs. We then camped on the Columbia River with ash, ankle deep.’

    Julia Osborne -- ‘My great grandma scooped up some ash from the blast that reached all the way to Aberdeen, WA (about 3.5 hrs away)! She gave me a baby food jar full for a 4th grade project I did about the volcano. I still have it and can't wait until my kids are old enough, so I can share that story with them about their great great grandma!’

    Kathy Nichols -- ‘My mom and dad were up by Mount Saint Helens the day it blew. They were too close to go anywhere, but they took pictures step-by-step and I have them all. It's kind of cool to look at them. Mom and dad had to stay in the cabin [until] it blew over. They thought it was the last day on earth, but they did make it through.’

    Danielle Gotell -- ‘We lived in Marysville and were in our backyard when we heard it. I was ten and remember my dad saying, "I bet it's Mt. St. Helens."'

    Ann Stenbak Cole -- ‘My cousin and her family were camping up there...fortunately, they made it out.’

    Stacey Chable-Xool -- ‘I was only 5 years old, but I remember how dark it got and how it looked like it snowed. I also have some ash thanks to my mom.’

    Sheila Lester -- ‘I have the paper and ash too.’

    Barbara Lee Nesper -- 'My memory is probably more unique than others. I lived in Sacramento, CA at the time of the volcano eruption. I called my mom in Bremerton, Wa at 8:30 am to let her know I was in the hospital after losing the baby at almost 7 months. When I went to pay my phone bill in the hospital they said there was no record of that call. We tried to research it at both ends. They said the mountain had gone up and all lines had gone down and it wasn't possible for that call to go through. I guess that call was made on God's line.'

    Verna Harris -- 'I was In Yakima WA, my uncle sonny's horse had a colt that day may 18 and they named It SAINT. I will never forget.'

    D'Ann Schmit -- 'I have two baby food jars of ash from two different eruptions. The ash was gotten in St. Helens, Oregon. One ash is like powder, the other is like sand.'

    Kathy Christopher Kusterer -- 'We were living in Spokane -- my husband was in Seattle. It got very still and then very dark then as the darkness went away everything was covered in ash. Nobody knew what to do so much speculating. As soon as you cleaned it up it was back. The kids wore masks to school and you were asked not to drive your car and to keep all of your windows shut. The powers that be did not know how to react to the ash so each day they told us something new. The planes did not fly out of Seatac for several days and by the time my husband was able to get home, we were managing pretty well. My daughter's teacher had the children bring in the ash they made ceramics out of them. I still have the little volcano that my daughter made as well as some ash.'

    Evie Fowler Bishop -- ‘I have all that and my personal pictures. I have ash from three different areas of both Washington and Oregon and three different eruptions. The ash is all different.’

    Kayla Jean Marie Rosander-Summers -- ‘I have Mt. St. Helens ash on my bookshelf, along with a cup made from the ash! It's pretty awesome.’

    Jerald D Tobin -- ‘My father was golfing in Spokane when the mountain blew. Said it got real dark. I still have the very fine ash that he brought back from eastern Washington.’

    Kathy Evans --‎ 'I saw the invitation to submit Mt. St. Helens stories, so I'd like to submit mine: I was 12 years old in 1980 when Mt. St. Helens erupted. We were actually staying at our vacation cabin at Mt. Rainier when it happened. I remember waking up to the dawn and the birds were singing, but I drifted back to sleep. I woke up later to pitch darkness and the birds had stopped singing. The darkness was so thick that it even swallowed up the light from a downstairs light that had been left on all night. Once our family woke up, we realized Mt. St. Helens had blown. It looked like it was snowing outside, except that it stunk of sulphur and it was very hot. My dad scraped 8 lbs. of ash off the roof of our car for a souvenir, which we kept for years afterward. We all covered our noses and mouths with wet washcloths as we went out to the car to head home.'

    Do you remember where you were on May 18, 1980? Share your memories with us -- on our Facebook page. 

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