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Sept. 24, 2021

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Mount St. Helens

Hiker found dead in Mount Whittier area

July 21, 2021, 7:45pm Clark County News

An Army lieutenant who went missing Sunday while hiking near Mount St. Helens was found dead Wednesday afternoon in the Mount Whittier area. Read story

Ridgefield man shares his photos of Mount St. Helens’ eruption

May 18, 2021, 6:00am Clark County News

Arzil “Ray” Stone stood on his patch of downward-sloping yard in Ridgefield as he looked over a valley holding the snaking East Fork of the Lewis River. He raised his… Read story

Mount St. Helens 40th anniversary

On May 18th, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted killing 57 people and changing the way residents of the Northwest viewed the volcano in their midst. For the last 40 years, The Columbian has written about every aspect of the eruption — the people who died, including Columbian photographer Reid Blackburn, the survivors, the scientists, the tourists and the life that has slowly returned to the mountain. We have gathered our stories, along with reader recollections from over the years, here. The Longview Daily News also has a page dedicated to Mount St. Helens.

Read The Columbian's story from May 19, 1980St. Helens spews death, destruction

Editor's Picks

Columbian photographer Reid Blackburn adjusts one of two remote-controlled cameras on Mount St. Helens in 1980. Mount St. Helens: Reid Blackburn and an array of equipment were lost; a notebook survived
Columbian photographer Reid Blackburn made a slight revision to the cover of his notebook that explained his role on Mount St. Helens 36 years ago.
The pumice plain between Mount St. Helicopters to hell
The cockpit of the HH-1H Huey helicopter was silent as the crew surveyed the steaming hell of ash, gases and volcanic debris below. Mike Cooney,…
Mount St. Caring for the injured
What Sandy Vaughan found awaiting her at work at 10 p.m. defied logic. "It was a strange, strange feeling," the Vancouver nurse said. "Whoever thought…
Roald Reitan and Venus Ann Dergan in Longview's St. The taste of death
They were only 60 seconds from safety, but getting there almost killed them

Events tied to 41st anniversary of Mount St. Helens blast muted due to COVID-19

May 18, 2021, 7:43am Latest News

LONGVIEW — The COVID-19 pandemic is once again making most events commemorating the 41st anniversary of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens virtual, but the mountain itself slowly is becoming open to the public as snow melts and pandemic restrictions ease. Read story

Jaquie Cole of Ridgefield displays a photo she took of Mount St. Helens in 1980 on Monday afternoon, May 10, 2021. Cole and her friend flew in a small plane over Mount St. Helens on the afternoon of May 17, 1980, less than 24 hours before the big eruption.

Ridgefield woman shares photos taken from plane day before Mount St. Helens blew

Jaquie Cole of Ridgefield displays a photo she took of Mount St. Helens in 1980 on Monday afternoon, May 10, 2021. Cole and her friend flew in a small plane over Mount St. Helens on the afternoon of May 17, 1980, less than 24 hours before the big eruption.

May 17, 2021, 6:00am Clark County News

Jaquie Cole had never flown in an airplane before, so when her best friend called to invite her on a scenic flight to Mount St. Helens, she didn’t hesitate to accept. Read story

Mount St. Helens rises above Spirit Lake in this aerial view taken on Tuesday.

Volcano work still a blast despite COVID

Mount St. Helens rises above Spirit Lake in this aerial view taken on Tuesday.

May 16, 2021, 6:05am Clark County News

USGS’ Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver continues, adapts its mission during pandemic Read story

Geophysicist Rebecca Kramer charges batteries for high-precision GPS equipment at USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver late last month. Staff was packing up monitoring gear being shipped to be used in studies of the volcanic system at Yellowstone National Park.

USGS monitors Yellowstone volcano system from Vancouver

Geophysicist Rebecca Kramer charges batteries for high-precision GPS equipment at USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver late last month. Staff was packing up monitoring gear being shipped to be used in studies of the volcanic system at Yellowstone National Park.

May 11, 2021, 6:03am Clark County News

As Rebecca Kramer geared up for a summer project to monitor Yellowstone’s volcano system, she was doing prep work in an east Vancouver parking lot. Read story

Museum offers Mount St. Helens exhibit

May 7, 2021, 6:04am Clark County News

North Clark Historical Museum, 21416 N.E. 399th St., Amboy, will present an exhibit featuring Mount St. Helens before, during and after its major eruption on May 18, 1980. Read story

A log raft of blown-down trees still covers about 30 percent of Spirit Lake, and the U.S. Forest Service built this steel gate in 2017 to keep the logs from jamming the inlet into the lake's drainage tunnel. (U.S.

Debate erupts over planned road across Mount St. Helens blast zone

A log raft of blown-down trees still covers about 30 percent of Spirit Lake, and the U.S. Forest Service built this steel gate in 2017 to keep the logs from jamming the inlet into the lake's drainage tunnel. (U.S.

March 29, 2021, 4:04pm Latest News

MOUNT ST. HELENS — Conservation groups and scientists are challenging a federal decision to build a road through the Mount St. Helens blast zone, saying it would damage more than two dozen decades worth of irreplaceable research plots. Read story

Weston "Wes" Thelen, a research seismologist with the United States Geological Survey's Cascade Volcano Observatory, tests low frequency microphones in his garage before taking them into the field on a recent weekday. Thelen became interested in volcanoes after taking family vacations to Mount Shasta. "I grew up doing lots of outdoors stuff, skiing and climbing, hiking, camping - taking in all of the things the mountains there had to offer," he said.

Working in Clark County: Weston ‘Wes’ Thelen, seismologist at USGS

Weston "Wes" Thelen, a research seismologist with the United States Geological Survey's Cascade Volcano Observatory, tests low frequency microphones in his garage before taking them into the field on a recent weekday. Thelen became interested in volcanoes after taking family vacations to Mount Shasta. "I grew up doing lots of outdoors stuff, skiing and climbing, hiking, camping - taking in all of the things the mountains there had to offer," he said.

March 20, 2021, 5:19am Business

It’s safe to say that the list of jobs out there that might require hiking around a volcano is a short one. Read story

Agencies eye Cowlitz River dredging to lower flood risk

February 21, 2021, 6:03am Clark County News

LONGVIEW — Local, state and Army Corps of Engineers officials are planning to dredge the Cowlitz River to lower flood risks until the dam holding back sediment still flowing from Mount St. Helens is raised. Read story