Prior to May 18, 1980, this is what Mount St. Helens looked like. Very peaceful, huh?
Then at 8:32 that Sunday morning, the mountain blew it's side out, in the largest landslide on earth in recorded history - 3.7 billion cubic yards of material.
It lost 1300' in height, replaced by a crater more than a mile wide.
57 people were killed, but hundreds were rescued by helicopter. The death toll would have been much higher if it had not been a weekend when the loggers were not working.
This is how it looked today when I visited.
14 miles of the North Fork Toutle River Valley were buried to an average depth of 150 feet, as much as 600 feet in some places.
150,000 acres of trees were lost, many just blown off, shattered in the 700 mph winds.
Countless wildlife were killed, including 7,000 big game animals and 12 million salmon fingerlings in hatcheries. But the area has made a miraculous recovery. We saw a couple dozen elk in the valley.