ANCHORAGE — Mount Redoubt roared to life Sunday and Monday, blasting a column of ash and steam almost 12 miles above Cook Inlet.
The eruptions -- which started Sunday night, persisted through the early hours Monday, then struck again Monday evening -- canceled commercial airline flights and spurred Alaskans north of Anchorage to protect their cars and homes.
"That's a very high plume," Alaska Volcano Observatory geophysicist John Power said of the largest ash cloud, which rose 60,000 feet high.
"That's about as high as they go."
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The latest explosion, which occurred at 7:41 p.m. local time, prompted the National Weather Service to declare a new ash fall advisory for Susitna Valley -- including the communities of Willow, Talkeetna and Cantwell -- which was scheduled to remain in effect until 5 a.m. today. An advisory was also issued for Bristol Bay, west of the volcano.
Earlier Monday, lower-level winds carried Redoubt's abrasive volcanic particles roughly due north over the Susitna Valley, and significant ash fall was reported in Skwentna, Willow, Trapper Creek and Talkeetna, according to the National Weather Service.
Traces of ash were also reported in communities as far-flung as Healy to the north and the village of Nikolai to the west.
Anchorage emerged unscathed, and that should remain true again today, if the volcano erupts once more, said weather service meteorologist Nate Hardin.
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