(from Alaska Daily News):
Ash began falling in Homer shortly before 2 p.m. The city sent workers home early, said City Manager Walt Wrede, before a purplish plume blocked the view across Cook Inlet and the smell of sulfur wafted into town. Businesses closed up, he said. By 4:45, skies had cleared and a small sprinkling of ash covered the snow.
Homer is a city located in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population was 5,364. One of Homer's nicknames is "the cosmic hamlet by the sea"; another is "the end of the road". A popular local bumper sticker characterizes the town as "Homer - A quaint little drinking village with a fishing problem."