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Flood Facts

Death and Injury

Deaths = 238, including 5 missing.
Includes 3 National Guardsmen, 3 firefighters, 7 airmen from Ellsworth Air Force Base, 1 police reserve officer, and other rescuers
Injured = 3,057, including 118 hospitalized

Destruction

Homes destroyed: 770 permanent homes, 565 mobile homes
Homes damaged: 2,035 permanent homes, 785 mobile homes
Businesses destroyed: 36
Businesses damaged: 236
Vehicles destroyed: 5,000

Financial Loss

Total Damages = $165 million, throughout the Black Hills

Rapid City = $35.1 million in residential damage and $30.9 million in commercial damage
Box Elder = $1.2 million residential, $75,000 commercial
Keystone = $137,000 residential, $1.5 million commercial

Utilities = $10.3 million
Roads and Bridges = $35.4 million
Rural = $6.2 million
Tourism income lost = $30 million
Other economic losses = $12 million

Rainfall

Rumors

The most common rumor: the false report that the dam at Pactola Reservoir had burst, heard nationwide.
Most unusual rumor: That crocodiles had escaped into Black Hills streams from Reptile Gardens. No creatures escaped from the popular tourist attraction, although some rattlesnakes drowned. Information from the Rapid City Journal's May 17, 1992 Special Edition on the "Flood of 1972 - 20 Years Later".