December 15, 1989
489 miles southeast of Nome, the Mount Redoubt volcano erupts, spewing great clouds of sulfurous volcanic sand and dust into the air.
While the debris drifts away from Nome, the corrosive billows of grit ground airplanes in Anchorage, western Alaska’s supply hub. Grocery shelves grow bare, holiday presents are missing, and Nome’s mailboxes lay empty for a week. For the next four months, Redoubt’s periodic ash clouds disrupt flights to and from Nome.