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Mount St. Helens

Summer 2015

In the Path of Destruction: Eyewitness Chronicles of Mount St. Helens

In the Path of Destruction: Eyewitness Chronicles of Mount St. Helens

Richard Waitt
WSU Press, 2014

Like the eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980, the personal stories of campers, loggers, airline pilots, Forest Service workers, and geologists came pouring out before, during, and after the cataclysm. One of those geologists, Richard Waitt, gathered anecdotes and recollections of the volcanic eruption over the course of three decades, now compiled in this tome.

Waitt blends his own scientific expertise as a researcher who had been on the mountain since its early rumblings with hundreds of eyewitness … » More …

Winter 2010

A New Land

John Bishop was late getting to Mount St. Helens.

He was only 16 years old when it blew in 1980, and it would be another decade before he began crawling around the mountain as part of his doctoral studies.

“I was worried I missed all the action—‘Ten years, it’s all been studied,’” he recalls.

It turns out the dust, pumice, and other ejecta were only beginning to settle, and the mountain would continue to rumble, spit, and recover. In 1994, he found himself running from a mudflow, then watched as it moved fridge-sized boulders and shook the earth beneath his feet. Arriving at WSU Vancouver … » More …

Summer 2006

Journalism's grandest prize

On the morning of Tuesday, May 20, 1980, journalists arrived at The Daily News, turned on their computers, and were greeted with the daily message from managing editor Bob Gaston (’67 Journ.). That day’s message was far from typical.

This was two days after the devastating eruption of Mount St. Helens and less than 24 hours after the Longview newspaper staff published an astounding 45 of its own stories and numerous jaw-dropping photographs of the deadly blast.

Although his exact words are lost to time, the gist of Gaston’s message to the newsroom was this: After just one issue, there was a tremendous buzz in … » More …