Mount Saint Helens
February weather gave everything possible leading to the 1996 Washington flood. Starting with several feet of snow in the mountains around Mount Saint Helens where I lived as a volunteer for the Forest Service. Next it was ice storms mixed with high winds. Then it warmed up and rained, and rained, and rained.
Ivan and Shannon at nearest wash out
One night we could hear boulders rolling in the reservoir below the house. The next morning Ivan left in his car but returned moments later because the road was washed out. In fact all three roads into our remote area were washed out and we were left on an island.
Evacuation flight over the spillway
Along with four other volunteers, two dogs, a cat, and two birds I was helicoptered out of the compound where we lived. The Forest Service couldn’t leave us there as the generator went down so no well pump. We were all for staying.
Shannon & Gaelyn
A couple days later, Shannon and I were flown back in to gather 200 pounds of our stuff to be lifted out below the helicopter in two large canvas bags. We carefully weighed everything only to discover we’d have needed gold bars to fill the relatively small bags.
The pilots kidded with us through the helmet headphones about dropping one of the bags in the flooded reservoir as they flew us out.
I waited 2.5 months for one of the washouts to be repaired so I could drive my truck out filled with my few belongings.
Second one to drive out
While waiting I looked or a job and was hired by US Fish and Wildlife so moved to the Columbia River Gorge.
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