Monday, March 23, 2009

A Glimpse of My World

This is what's been happening where I'm from:

Mt. Redoubt erupting. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

That's right, Mt. Redoubt finally blew its top. People have been predicting its eruption since January, and it finally happened. Ash is falling on my hometown as I type this. The last eruption cycle was in 1990. I was in 5th grade and I can vaguely remember the streets covered in ash and my school passing out breathing masks before we left school on one of the days it erupted.

Mt. Redoubt is located about 50 miles west of Kenai (my hometown), directly across the Cook Inlet. The current eruptions have spewed ash almost 12 miles into the air. In 1990, a Boeing 747 flying from Amsterdam was caught in the plume, all engines failed, and it had to emergency land in Anchorage. Mt. Redoubt is the highest mountain in the Aleutian Range at 10,200 feet, and is an active volcano, this being its 4th eruption cycle. Currently, it has erupted five times since Sunday evening (Alaska-time...GMT -9).

Mt. Redoubt, letting off steam on March 15th. Photo courtesy of the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Some of you might be wondering what the big deal is. I mean, it's just some ash, right? No. The 1990 eruptions caused $160 million in damage. Ash can cause problems for people with respiratory problems, and can also harm skin and machine parts. This presents a problem when ash lands and is then stirred up by wind or vehicles because the ash then gets into car engines, therefore causing damage. School is probably canceled today. We never get snow-days, but we have been known to get ash-days!

A photo I took in 2005 from my hometown. Mt Redoubt is on the right.

Edit: So apparently ash didn't actually fall on Kenai...between the ash being 12 miles in the air and all the wind that they've been having, it all blew north. Guess nobody got the day off of school, after all.


  1. I was in a waiting room with my Mom for 2 hours this morning watching this on CNN. I thought of you, but didn't know it was so close to Kenai, or about the 1990 eruption. Yikes.

  2. I heard about this on the news as I was driving home.
    I was going to ask you if it was near your hometown...guess you answered my question!

  3. This was interesting. I don't remember the 1990 eruptions. But I do remember when Mt St Helens erupted.


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