State Geologist Ernest Housel (Documentary Photo #ss332):
Most in the geological community knew about Helens. Alerts were sent out, of course, but nobody wants to believe that their home is about to be destroyed.
|The eruption had little impact on the site:
only a one to two centimeter layer of ash
was visible in the excavation and, due to the various protrusions of
trash and irregularities in the surface, could easily be missed.
I can remember the explosion. It seemed sudden to me, not blanketing the land, but blanketing the news and dinner conversation. Pictures of people, houses and cars coated in dirt, which I would later associate with Pompeii, and slow motion film of the eruption itself, the mountains bulge, dominated the elementary school rooms of Idaho Falls, Idaho. I couldnt understand how something so incredible hadnt been on television prior to the explosion. Somebody had to know it was going to happen.
Evidence at the site: one to two centimeter layer of ash.
Housing Contractor Mike Rigney (Documentary photo #34dq1):
Protecting a home from something like St. Helens is easy with foreknowledge and provided you're a good distance from the eruption.