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May 15, 2014 at 1:00 PM

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Postcards from the Past: Mount St. Helens erupts, 1980


SEATTLE TIMES ARCHIVE

Mount St. Helens erupted in spectacular fashion on May 18, 1980. The northern face of the mountain collapsed, and an ash plume spewed about 15 miles high, darkening skies nearby and in Eastern Washington. The eruption killed 57 people, knocked down forests and filled rivers with volcanic ash.

ANN YOW / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Spectators hoped to catch a glimpse of Mount St. Helens erupting as they gathered in Kelso.

RICK PERRY / THE SEATTLE TIMES

People watched debris as it moved down river from Mount St. Helens after it erupted on May 18, 1980.

MATT MCVAY / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Mike Clinton, of Yakima, shoveled ash off a sidewalk in Yakima on the morning of May 20, 1980. A thick coating of volcanic ash began falling two days earlier when Mount St. Helens erupted.

BARRY WONG / THE SEATTLE TIMES

A car kicked up a cloud of volcanic ash as it traveled a nearly deserted Chehalis street on May 27, 1980.

ANN YOW / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Mount St. Helens erupted in spectacular fashion on May 18, 1980, a sunny Sunday morning. The northern face of the mountain collapsed, and an ash plume spewed about 15 miles high, darkening skies nearby and in Eastern Washington. By early afternoon, ash was falling in Idaho and Montana; it reached Colorado by day's end.

Postcards from the past is an occasional feature, highlighting images from The Seattle Times historical archive.

For more postcards from the past and links to other posts, visit the gallery


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