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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Where were you when Mt St Helens erupted on May 18, 1980?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (37535points) May 18th, 2023

You can read posts about it here on Facebook if you use that site.

I was a high school junior and remember the dusting of ash a few days later.

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26 Answers

chyna's avatar

I was 22. I probably didn’t even hear about it back then as I was busy working and traveling for my job and clubbing on the weekends. In other words, I was pretty self centered in those days.

canidmajor's avatar

Ha! I lived in Seattle at the time, and I was at a wedding…on Long Island. I couldn’t get back for days because of all the ash in the upper atmosphere. I was a yacht broker at the time, and did not look forward to the task of cleaning all the boats in the yard, but there was no ash fall in Seattle, until about the 4th eruption, then very little. Everything went south and east of us.

I still have a bottle of ash.

zenvelo's avatar

I was in Burlingame CA, and as it was a Sunday, I was most likely hungover and watching baseball.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was in Kansas but I had close family in Washington. I heard about it!!

canidmajor's avatar

@chyna and @Dutchess_III, you guys probably got some ash fall, but it likely manifested for you as minor sinus irritation, ak8n to allergies. Maybe felt a bit dusty.

In the beginning there were warnings not to use water to wash it off stuff, as that would activate acidic reactions, and damage things. Totally untrue, as it turns out.

janbb's avatar

In NJ and 5 months pregnant.

Zaku's avatar

It erupted for a while before the BIG explosion. My dad and I drove down to watch it, before May 18. We would have had quite a view.

I don’t remember where I was when it actually blew up. Probably in Seattle, but I sort of think maybe I was in California.

Acrylic's avatar

Would’ve been in 5th grade, a school named for the great Thomas Alva Edison!

ragingloli's avatar

Testing my Volcano Doomsday machine. The results were disappointingl.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Canidmajor…mostly we got beautiful sunrises and sunsets for a couple of weeks. No real ash fall.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Probably in kindergarten, I have no memory of it.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I was 4 but remember hearing about it.

kritiper's avatar

Boise, Idaho, USA. I was 26.

gorillapaws's avatar

Before my time.

rebbel's avatar

In school.
Was not aware it erupted.
First time I hear of it.
Thoughts and prayers.

Brian1946's avatar

I was fishing at Spirit Lake.

When it erupted, I got in my hafnium carbide boat and rode a lava flow to safety! ;-0

Either that, or I was sitting in my living room here in So Cal, watching the coverage on TV.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I imagine I was at work that day, probably sitting at my desk or in a meeting of some sort. I don’t remember hearing about the blast until that evening.

I was living in Denver at that time; we did have a bunch of ash fall for the next several weeks.

canidmajor's avatar

I remember sitting in the brokerage office, and a guy walked 8n with a question. He was from Essex, Connecticut, and wanted t9 know how to safely get ash off the deck of his Herreshoff. We didn’t know, we had no ash on the boats.
Nice man, he bought us coffee anyway.

JLoon's avatar

I may have been a vague naughty feeling that one, or both of my parents sensed before they met.

Because that eruption happened before the one that brought me here ; )

cookieman's avatar

Seeing as I was 9 years old, probably in school. I don’t remember if we discussed it in class.

Jeruba's avatar

I was a freelance book editor, working at home. I don’t remember if we had ash fallout here or not. I do remember one time when everybody’s cars were covered in sooty, sticky ash, but that wasn’t then. The Mount St. Helens eruption was kind of scary here on the West Coast, not quite the Pacific Northwest, but close.

seawulf575's avatar

On May 18, 1980 I was in Orlando Florida in Boot Camp.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I was a young automotive engineer working on advanced fuel system in NY.
About a month after the event one of my coworkers returned with a large quantity of ash so he could give samples to anyone interested. We measured the particle size distribution to understand how our air filters would be affected.

flutherother's avatar

I was at work in a different continent. I heard about it on the news.

RocketGuy's avatar

I was in high school in San Diego. It was interesting news. Didn’t convey how scary it actually was.

LifeQuestioner's avatar

I was pretty young and I don’t remember hearing much about it although I vaguely remember hearing a little about it on TV. Years later, I became a volcano nerd and then I wished that I had paid more attention to what was going on then.

I was absolutely glued to what was going on in Hawaii a couple years ago. It was so fascinating to watch the whole process. First the earthquakes, then little cracks in the roads and ground, then the cracks widening and steam coming out, and then eventually the erupting lava.

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