Written Memory


I grew up in Rapid and we had a very large extended family that all lived in town. I had moved to Hot Springs and we often went to visit my mom who lived right on Rapid Creek on Johnson Siding road. As we left it began raining very hard and I debated whether to continue to her place. When we got there the creek had risen up over the bridge. My mom was waving and I thought she was encouraging me to cross over. As I was on the bridge it began to "wobble" and as I drove off the end, the bridge broke loose and went down the creek! The water had risen to just below the doors and the engine stalled. I told my 3 sons that I was going to try to start the car and if it wouldn't go we would leave it. Thankfully it started, as I looked up the road a huge tree, roots and all, was coming but we escaped just in time! I called a local radio station and reported that I believed this was extremely serious and they sent a sherrif to check it out. We watched as the creek continued to rise until the home across the creek was underwater. All night long the radio station listed people that were reported missing. A couple of days later the National Guard sent a rescue truck. It was many days before a temporary crossing of a huge culvert covered with earth made it possible to go to town. Many members of my immediate family lost homes, cars, etc. and an aunt lost a tourist motel. My brother worked for MDU and had been sent to Canyon Lake Park to check out the gas line situation. The dam gave way and swept him away. He finally got the door open and was able to swim to land! There are many, many stories of that so called "hundred year" rainfall that affected my family. Many of my friends in South Canyon were killed. Whole neighborhoods no longer existed. Our family included the Ballingers, Freemans, Gheres, Zenors, and many more. I had 31 cousins that all lived in Rapid and they all had kids too. It was a devastating time in our lives.



“Anonymous,” Flood of 1972, accessed July 2, 2022,