Mount St. Helens erupted 40 years ago. This special section features stories and columns from the time of the eruption and in the years since.

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Editor’s Note: This originally ran in the May 19, 1980, edition of the Idahonian, now the Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

Palouse country crops and animals aren’t seriously threatened by the ash fallout from Mount St. Helens, say University of Idaho and Washington State University scientists.

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Editor’s Note: This story originally ran in the May 18, 1990, edition of the Lewiston Tribune, marking the 10-year anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

By the time volcanic ash began to fall and darkness shrouded eastern Washington and northern Idaho, Harry Truman, the stubborn old man who lived at the base of Mount St. Helens and called himself “part of the mountain,” was dead.

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Editor’s Note: This story originally ran in the May 19, 1980, edition of the Lewiston Tribune.

Powdery volcanic ash turned a sunny afternoon on the Palouse into eerie blackness Sunday.

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Editor’s Note: This story originally ran in the May 19, 1980, edition of the Lewiston Tribune.

Day turned to night in the Inland Northwest on Sunday as the effects of a volcanic eruption 350 miles west at Mount St. Helens swept across the region.

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Editor’s Note: This story originally ran on the front page of the May 19, 1980, Lewiston Tribune.

VANCOUVER. Wash. — Mount St. Helens blew its top Sunday in the volcano’s most spectacular eruption yet, flooding a river, killing at least eight persons and turning day into night as a thick black ash cloud moved across Washington and northern Idaho.

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Editor’s Note: This story originally ran in the May 25, 1980, edition of the Lewiston Tribune.

HARRY TRUMAN’S LAST WISH was for friends to pick him up some petunias to plant around his lodge. Truman, who refused to leave the slopes of rumbling Mount St. Helens, was determined to continue the gardening work of his late wife, Eddie, friends say.

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Editor’s Note: Kenton Bird, an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Media at the University of Idaho, was acting managing editor of the Idahonian (now the Moscow-Pullman Daily News) in May 1980. In this column, originally published on May 28, 1980, he recounts how the newspaper’s staff responded to the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

For almost everyone else, it was a nightmare that wouldn’t end: blowing clouds of choking dust, health worries, disrupted jobs and personal lives.

But for journalists, it was the stuff that dreams are made of: a breaking news story of profound consequences, with dozens of angles to be covered and the challenge to produce it under deadline pressure.

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Editor’s Note: This originally ran in the March 24, 1985, edition of the Lewiston Tribune.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — David Johnston stepped off the helicopter at a parking lot at timberline on Mount St. Helens on March 27 five years ago, the first scientist to fly over the volcano’s summit since it had erupted several hours earlier.

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Editor’s Note: This piece by the Lewiston Tribune’s longtime editorial page editor originally ran May 18, 1981, marking in humor the one-year anniversary of the eruption.

I’m really worried. The Northwest may have survived the volcanic ashfall from Mount St. Helens with courage and aplomb. But will we ever dig out from under all these special newspaper editions commemorating the first anniversary of the eruption?

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Editor’s Note: This story originally ran May 21, 1980, in the Idahonian, now the Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

The smaller inhabitants of the earth, especially those living in the Pacific Northwest, have been having their own problems coping with the worrisome volcanic ash that has fallen on Latah County the past few days.

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Editor’s Note: This originally ran in the May 19, 1980, edition of the Idahonian, now the Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

Blue skies and sunshine awakened the Palouse to a spring Sunday yesterday, but within hours, darkened into an eerie evening that refused to end.

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Editor’s Note: This story originally ran in the May 20, 1980, edition of the Lewiston Tribune.

People in Colfax, a Whitman County farming community of 2,700, opened up their high school, homes and stores Sunday and Monday to take care of 600 stranded motorists.

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Editor’s Note: This story originally ran in the May 20, 1980, edition of the Lewiston Tribune.

All forms of transportation into and out of the Lewiston-Clarkston and Palouse areas all but ground to a halt Monday, when volcanic ash reduced visibility and posed serious threats to plane, locomotive and automotive engines.

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Editor’s Note: This story originally ran in the May 25, 1980, edition of the Lewiston Tribune.

Although tons of volcanic ash have been swept, shoveled, scooped and washed aside, residents of northern Idaho appear resigned to revamping lifestyles and coping with a problem that may be around for more than a year.