Today is the 33rd anniversary of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens that killed 57 people, knocked down a forest and filled the sky and rivers with volcanic ash.
The mountain in southwest Washington may be the best-known volcano in the state, but it’s certainly not the only one or even the most dangerous.
The U. S. Geological Survey says Mount Rainier could be one of the deadliest volcanoes in the world because of its location near Tacoma and Seattle. Volcanic gases could rapidly melt snow and ice and generate a huge mudslide called a lahar that could flow through some populated areas.
Other volcanoes in Washington are Mount Baker in Whatcom County, Glacier Peak in Snohomish County and Mount Adams in Yakima County.
I wonder what residents of Longbranch saw that day, or if the ash plume was even visible from the Key Peninsula’s southern tip.
UPDATE: Here is The News Tribune’s (Tacoma, Wash.) account of the eruption’s anniversary on the mountain Saturday: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/05/18/2602715/cloud-cover-dampens-anniversary.html