Lenore (Drillien) Humble


I was living in Rapid City as a child when the 1972 flood took place. My father was employed with a non profit organization through the Wesleyan Church. He was assigned to Sioux Chapel in Rapid City from 1970-1974. Sioux Chapel was located on 11th Street (right beside Rapid Creek). Our home sat right beside the chapel on the bank of Rapid Creek. It was destroyed the night of the flood. We left and went to friends who lived just outside the city at a higher elevation when the law enforcement officers came door to door warning of the possible flood waters. From the clocks we found afterwards in the pieces of our home….we left 20 minutes before the wall of water hit our home. We would not have survived that night. The wall of water picked our home up off the foundation and dropped part of it into the basement. The water lines were at the ceiling on the first floor. Our family lost most of all we owned. I was sent to live with relatives in Ohio that summer while my parents worked to put the pieces of our life there in Rapid City back together. Interestingly, the chapel structure survived and was used until the rezoning of that area when it had to be relocated.

My brother and I made a trip to Rapid City and the Black Hills three years ago. We spent some time along the creek bank where our house stood (now a golf course). We had played in the creek many a time and we both recalled the night it became a monster of destruction. We both will never forget the events of that night or the days immediately following as we looked for our belongings. I was only 10 years old but it left indelible memories on my childhood. My heart has always been grateful the flood did not take lives in my immediate family but I have always felt empathy for those who did and experienced the trauma of those flood waters.

My father worked with Gerald Yellow Hawk who is scheduled to do a Remembrance Blessing on June 8th as part of the 50 year commemoration. I am grateful that the city still “remembers” and honors those who worked and volunteered to help rescue, comfort and care for the many who were affected by the disaster.



“Lenore (Drillien) Humble,” Flood of 1972, accessed September 28, 2022, https://1972flood.omeka.net/items/show/635.