Linda Vaughn Burke


Written Memory


June 9, 2010


June 9th, 1972 was a Friday and I had just been married a month, having married a South Dakotan, and moved here from Maryland. We, the Vaughn family and I were at a rodeo that afternoon in Belle Fourche, I think. I remember seeing the storm clouds move toward the east over Rapid City and then coming back to the west again. I thought that was very strange. My new husband and I went out to a bar that evening and had a few. I remember standing at the door to the bar and watching the rain run down Main Street, four inches deep. Wow, I thought, you don't see that every day. I was feeling good from the beer and didn't think anything of it. Later that evening we went home to our trailer park on East St Patrick Street and slept like babies. We didn't find out until morning that the park had been evacuated earlier out of concern that the trailers would be carried away in the flood. My inlaws also tried to come get us and were not allowed in. On the morning of the 10th after watching the news and realizing what happened, I thought of my mother in Maryland hearing the news before she could find out if I was ok. Thank goodness the phone lines were still working and I was able to tell her before she heard about it. I realize how lucky we were that our home was not swept away.



“Linda Vaughn Burke,” Flood of 1972, accessed July 2, 2022,