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St. Helens Unrest
Oct 27, 2004

Locals say Kalama River signals St. Helens' Awakening
Along the Kalama River, locals say they know something the volcanologists don't, that when the water turns milky white it means Mount St. Helens may be about to blow. Elwin Bottorff, 76, a retired lumber mill manager, says he has been reading the river that runs past his front yard for 40 years and knew what it meant the last time he saw the change days before geologists and volcanologists warned of an impending eruption. He said the last time he saw the river turn that color was in 1980, just before the volcano blew its top on May 18, killing 57 people, blasting away miles of forest and banketing homes, cabins and cars with gritty, machine-clogging volcanic ash. Another believer in the river is Gary Suhadolnik, a retired state fish and wildlife officer who worked in the area for most of his 35-year career, including a grim body-recovery mission after the big blast of 1980. The Kalama never turned white except during volcanic activity.
Mount St-Helens is Bacl
This is an image of Mount St. Helens, taken from the Johnston Ridge Observatory.