Ellen Bishop


Written Memory


May 16, 2012


My story is about those of us who were from Rapid City but were not here when Rapid City needed us.

My childhood home was in the Flood. I was in Iowa, our neighbors told us about the flood and we didn't believe it of course. I went that night to my x brother in laws house to listen to the six o'clock Ham Radio Net, and heard that there were live wires in the streets and they needed generators.

My parents had gone to Salt Lake City and left my brother alone at home, he was just out of High School. My sister was in Pierre and my other brother in Littleton CO. WE couldn't get a telephone line in to SD to find out how our brother was for days.

When I heard that the Canyon Lake Dam had gone out I knew our house was flooded, we lived on Western Ave, with the old Creek channel in our back yard. That in two other floods had filled with water and forced us out of our house.

Eventually my father bought the house back from the City and tore it down himself and took some of the pieces to Rapid Valley where he and my mother built a new house.
When I came back to Rapid City in October of 1972 they were still living in the house and it was in very good shape. The books had been cleaned as much as they could be. We still have flood books and pictures in our possession. Many people came and helped clean the house up in June and July. What I remembered was that all the houses that had been in our neighborhood were gone, there were not birds it was so quiet.

My brother was find, he had taken one of the cars and gone to family in North Rapid, one of our cars was found front down in the old swimming pool next door.
They built the golf course where my house was our side of Western Ave was in the Flood Plain, the other side was not, odd I still think. I sometimes say that if the Trees could talk they would say they remember the Barnes children, it is all there is left of my childhood.



“Ellen Bishop,” Flood of 1972, accessed August 11, 2022, https://1972flood.omeka.net/items/show/505.