50 Years Ago – More Than 200 Killed in Black Hills Flood
Rapid City, MN (KROC-AM News) - Today marks the 50th anniversary of the deadly and devastating Black Hills Flood.
The National Weather Service in Rapid City Dakota says heavy thunderstorms produced flash flooding in Rapid City and the eastern foothills of the Black Hills that resulted in the deaths of 238 people. According to the US Geological Survey says the "500-year flood" also injured more than 3000 people and destroyed more than 1300 homes and 5000 vehicles.
An article published by the USGS to mark the 30th anniversary of the disaster says the rain began to fall in the Black Hills on the afternoon of June 9, 1972, and heavy rains fell until about midnight. The rainfall totals near Rapid City were as high as 12 inches.
The USGS reported the resulting runoff from the rain resulted in record flooding in the creeks that run through Rapid City and eventually into the Cheyenne River. At the peak of the flooding, the water flow rate was measured at 50,000 cubic feet per second on Rapid Creek in Rapid City.
The extraordinarily deadly and damaging flooding did not last long. USGS says Rapid Creek was back within its banks by 5 o'clock the next morning.
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