Camera found at Goodwill reveals forgotten photos of Mount St. Helens eruption

A camera found at a Goodwill store in Portland, Ore., revealed long-forgotten images of the Mount St. Helens eruption. 

Photographer Kati Dimoff told KIRO-TV that she often finds old cameras and develops the film she finds inside. In May, she found an Argus C2 camera at Goodwill. Like always, she dropped the film from the camera off to be developed, and told KIRO-TV that when she picked the pictures up a note was scrawled on the back of the packet. 

"Is this from the Mount St. Helen eruption?" 

The images include shots showing Mount St. Helens from a distance, and others showed a larger ash cloud, according to Dimoff. 

Thirty-seven years ago, Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington, spewing ash, rock, and hot gasses into the air and causing mud to flow down the mountainsides.

The eruption took place on May 18, 1980, at 8:32 a.m. PT and was "the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The eruption killed 57 people and caused more than a billion dollars in damage. Ash blanketed the Pacific Northwest and stretched into 11 states and Canada. Fatalities included photojournalist Reid Blackburn, a USGS volcanologists named David Johnston and Harry Truman, a lodge owner in his 80s who rose to fame after he refused to leave the mountain in the weeks preceding the eruption.

“Another shot included a family in a backyard, who I'm hoping know the story of the camera," she told KIRO-TV. 

After the photos were posted byThe Oregonian, Mel Purvis, contacted the news outlet and said he is in the pictures with his wife, son and grandmother. He believes the camera belonged to his grandmother, and Dimoff is planning to mail the camera and prints to him, The Oregonian reported. 

"I almost fell out of my chair [when I saw the photos]," Purvis told The Oregonian. "That's me."

Follow Mary Bowerman on Twitter: @MaryBowerman

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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