RCPL Oral History Interviews


The Rapid City Public Library has recorded on film individuals who tell about their personal experiences of the events of June 9, 1972. If you would like to be interviewed, please see the Contact Us page for more information.


Members of the Rapid City community share their memories of the flood in interviews conducted by the Rapid City Public Library.

Collection Items

Linda and Gary Anderson evacuated from trailer home that later floated away. Discuss aftermath of flood, including looting that took place.

Hiland recounts his flood experiences as groundskeeper for the Sioux San hospital.

Vern Bauer was on duty as a patrolman with the Rapid City Police Department the night of the flood. His assignment was the west side of Rapid City.

Pam's husband Dave was one of only two survivors that gathered together in the attic of a home in Jackson Park the evening of June 9. The nine included Dave, Dave's father Roland "Babe" Baumberger, Burton Millett, Sheila Heaton and the Sampsill…

Sam Bice
Seventeen year old Sam Bice lived with his family--and delivered the newspaper--in the Braeburn addition in 1972. He talks about what happened the night of the flood, the heavy death toll among his neighbors, and the odds things he found in the days…

Gregory lost both his parents the evening of the Flood when they were hit by a wall of water on their way to work at Meadowood Bowling Lanes. He and his two younger brothers survived.

Stan Blum supervised clean-up crews in the West Boulevard area and helped get 43 Black Hills area bridges rebuilt.

Betty worked at Erickson's Flower Box and recalls every morning day after day driving through flood debris to get to work. She arranged six to seven flower casket pieces a day as they were the only flower shop open for some time.

Marilyn evacuated her home in Dark Canyon the evening of the flood for a cabin they owned on higher ground. She discusses the clean up involved afterward and difficulties they experienced in trying to maintain their residence in Dark Canyon.

Darlyne lost her home in the Flood but her family survived. Despite their loss, they kept their sense of humor and even hung a For Rent sign outside her condemned home the days after the Flood. Darlyne married Cal Kushman who also lost his home and…

Bill volunteered to help the National Guard recover bodies of those who died in the flood.

Theresa was seven years old the evening of the Flood. She evacuated with her Mother to higher ground that evening. She remembers her Father being gone a lot that summer as he was working to repair telephone lines.

Bruce Bradfield
Bruce Bradfield's recollection of the 1972 flood. Recorded during the 50th Anniversary event at Rapid City Public Library.

Nancy Brady organized an emergency evacuation center in the basement of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.

Preston Brown, Methodist Minister, was involved in the relief efforts of the 1972 Rapid City Flood.

Susan Whitney Callahan
Susan Whitney Callahan's recollection of the 1972 flood. Recorded during the 50th Anniversary event at Rapid City Public Library.

Joyce lived with her husband, Jim, and their two children ages four and seven on Riverdale Drive. They spent the evening of June 9 in their vehicle after evacuating their home. The next day they walked to where their home was located only to find it…

As a County Probation Officer, Charles Childs was involved in the rescue efforts and put in charge of the Missing Person/ Body Identification process.

Scott was in Baken Park the evening of the Flood. He lost two high school classmates and the Texaco station where he worked washed away. Scott was recruited to search for survivors.

Chief of Chaplains at Ft. Meade, Herb Cleveland used it as a staging area for flood victims and tells of flood and the community response to it.
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