I'm showing my age here, but every year I'm reminded when the news comes on commemorating one of the biggest natural disasters of our lifetime - The eruption of Mount Saint Helens. If you were alive, do you remember waking up a few days later to gray ash all over your vehicle in Connecticut?

May 18, 1980. It was my brother's 9th birthday, and I can remember every tv and radio station interrupted their broadcast with news of the massive eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington. The mounting fear at the time was the massive ash cloud that completely blacked out the skies over Washington, Oregon, and Montana would disrupt most of the United States. The blast had truly leveled a mountain, and early reports compared it to a nuclear blast.

Remember children, this was in 1980 - very limited cable tv, only cell phones, and no sign of the internet. Everyone was terrified, I remember news organizations suggesting that the ash cloud could possibly start a new Ice Age by blocking out sunlight, or this blast being only a small one compared to the big blasts that might occur during the aftershocks.

Quakes Underneath Mount St. Helens Prompt Eruption Fears
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Days after the blast, most of the ash cloud had blanketed the Pacific Northwest, and Oklahoma and Kansas. The news reports had pulled back on the paranoia, but we all woke up that weekend to a surprise - The ash cloud had reached high enough up into the atmosphere that it had reached Connecticut. My dad woke up to hundreds of gray dots all over his Cadillac, and I remember it looked like someone had dumped a bag of flour on our street. 44 years later, that's what I remember.

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