The 1972 Black Hills Flood project was created by the Rapid City Public Library because we believe that preserving the shared history of a life-altering local event will benefit our community. To help preserve the community’s memory of the lives that were lost and the remarkable heroism of the time, the Library presents a virtual archive that digitizes and publishes a variety of historical resources related to the flood.

This 1972 Flood website is meant to consolidate information about this devastating event and the time that followed. Radio transcriptions, KOTA reporter Robb DeWall’s news reports, and other historical documents from the time of the event provide factual information. A personal connection is provided through interviews, written memories, and photographs submitted by community members. This site represents a true collective effort on the part of the community.

Library staff conducted and recorded oral histories of people who experienced the flood, which are compiled into videos and posted on the site. Individuals may contact the library to submit their memory to be included on the site or schedule a time for an interview. This is a collaborative project that allows the story to be told by those who were there. The success of the flood project ensures that memories will not fade and a pivotal event in our history becomes one from which the community can learn and gain inspiration.

Digital Memorial Wall


The Flood of 1972 was devasting to Rapid City, and 238 lives were lost on June 9. The Rapid City...