Helen Clark


Written Memory


March 14, 2011


My name is Helen Clark and I am from London, England. I now live in the Tri State area of NY, in NJ across the river from Manhattan. In the summer of 1972, I had my first "paid" acting job and spent the summer in Rockerville, SD at The Meller Drama (correct spelling) Theatre. We were on high ground, so we never really realized what was going on. That night I remember the rain, non stop rain. I remember the next day not believing what I saw; houses crushed like boxes of matches, cars high up in trees, a whole house being lifted and dropped right on the highway. I was 19 years old. My parents, in London, were terrified. They called the US Embassy to try and find me, and I finally called them and made the front page of the newspaper at home: "I'm safe - Call from Flood victim." I remember we got emergency supplies of food, enough for the summer it seemed. The theatre was closed for a week I think, but then we reopened; probably not a good season. I am visiting South Dakota this year, it will be my first time back. I can't wait. I want to go to the memorial. No one on the east coast really knows about the flood, I guess back then it was a brief tradgedy in the newspaper. Water is a scary thing.



“Helen Clark,” Flood of 1972, accessed December 4, 2023, https://1972flood.omeka.net/items/show/519.