Mount St. Helens Disaster

On Sunday, May 18, 1980, at 8:32am, a sleepy volcano named Mt St Helens awoke with such force as to lose over 1300 feet of its elevation and knock down or kill over 150 square miles of surrounding forest land. The eruption and 0.7 cubic mile debris field killed 57 people, destroyed 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railways and 185 miles of highway.

Within hours, units of the Washington National Guard were mobilized initially to conduct Search and Rescue missions, but also augment Law Enforcement agencies to provide security around the disaster area.