Joseph J. Roby, Jr.


Written Memory


June 10, 2012


I was on the air for KKLS as "Jeff Davis." Apparently, we continued normal programming (top 40 hits) while the flood was already underway, unbeknownst to us. When word reached us, we started to broadcast emergency messages between songs. Then, the back door burst open and chocolate-brown water poured into the basement radio station. In no time we were up to our hips in water. I flipped open the mic and said something like, "The water's come in and we are getting out!" We started wading towards the stair case. The lights went out. We held hands and worked our way up the stairs. The entire building shook, all of the ground floor windows burst, and then the water really came pouring in! We had made it out of the basement by mere minutes. We all spent the night on the third floor. I remember watching propane tanks and one small house float by. I made plans to jump to a big tree if the water got that high. The next day the water was gone. It was a beautiful blue day, but mud and debris everywhere. Half of my fraternity house on Omaha was wiped out, along with property at SD Tech, where I was between my sophomore and junior years. I lost my car. Found it a few days later all smashed in. I came close to being trapped and drowning in the basement, but I consider myself one of the lucky ones. 238 others weren't.



“Joseph J. Roby, Jr.,” Flood of 1972, accessed July 2, 2022,