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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!"

"Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!" "David Johnston's voice crackled over the radio link from Coldwater Observation Post, north of Mount St. Helens, on the clear Sunday morning of May 18, 1980. Seconds later, the government volcanologist was engulfed in the volcano's gigantic lateral blast." - USGS Obituary

In Bobby Jindal's world this was just another "bureaucrat" wasting tax money monitoring a volcano. Unfortunately the thirty year old scientist didn't survive the eruption. Johnston spent his last weeks convincing the Washington State Patrol and USFS to evacuate the area around St. Helens. Lacking that evacuation thousands would have died, and the eruption would be remembered as an unmitigated disaster rather than a geologic novelty.

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