Rita Medina-Lewis


Written Memory


May 19, 2011


My name is Rita Medina- Lewis,a friend of mine Norlene Powers-Mathis and I took a vacation trip to Rapid City with plans to see Deadwood and we were caught in the flood. She worked for the County Libary in Cody, Wyoming and I worked for the Dept Social Services in Cody. We were about 22 years old. She had a small volkvagen camangia. We left Cody early the morning of the food and took our time getting to Rapid City. It started raining when we were at Keystone and the sky was black with still rain clouds.
It was sprinkling when we checked into a cute motel beside a creek. Our room had a nice little balcony over a beautiful creek, that was really starting to roll and fill up. The room had two beds that were on the west side of the room and the bath on the east. We decided to go have a pizza for supper instead of ordering in-so I grabbed my wallet and a sweater- she took her purse and we left. I hour later we started to leave the pizza place and I commented to her that the water was getting pretty deep. It was close to her running boards. But we proceeded back to the motel ,but in a Camengia we felt like we were floating -sorta of. As we approached the area where there was a Catholic church, there was a highway patrol car turning traffic away- he told us that the creek had flooded and to turn around, so we did. But the water was really getting high and by some dumb luck we made it back to high ground, with the car almost floating. We waited in the car for a while and then decided to stay at the Holiday Inn- they had one room left. In the morning we tried to drive back, but the roads were all closed and everything was in chaos. Around noon, we heard the motel people tell some one that people could leave town- so we tried again to get back to the motel to collect our things, a policeman approached us during our attempts and escorted us to the motel- we had been listed as missing. The motel owner was ecstatic to see us- he thought we were dead, He had tried to get everyone out and thought he missed us. Our motel unit was sliced in half- the bathroom was still intact. we were allowed to take our stuff, but we declined. We could see the devastation around us , so we just went to the Catholic church said a prayer for life and lit a candle, then went home.



“Rita Medina-Lewis,” Flood of 1972, accessed August 11, 2022, https://1972flood.omeka.net/items/show/592.