Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Victoria Fowler
Gazette Reporter 

Mt. St. Helens blast 40 year anniversary


Neighbors fill a loader with mud and ash May 26, 1980. Colfax Gazette, May 29, 1980.

WHITMAN COUNTY – Kristal Krom Kirpes, then a freshman at Eastern Washington University, took a trip home to Dusty on the Walla Walla Highway for the weekend to celebrate her 20th birthday. What she didn't know then was that she was going to share her birthday with the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

On Sunday, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted, being dubbed the most destructive volcanic eruption in U.S. history.

"While dad, mom, my sister and I were outside on our patio celebrating my birthday, the sky turned to an eerie gray, the birds stopped chirping and Uncle Ben's horses became un...

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