Duane Grosz


The day after the flood I volunteered to help. Being a member of the Rapid City Scuba Diving Club, I offered to search for bodies. One memory that I will never forget was behind the Osheim Funeral Home. There was a sunken car which I checked for bodies. Luckily none were found. the funeral home was overwhelmed as they had to use their garage floor to receive the bodies. There were a dozen or more laying on the floor. I'll never forget seeing a deceased lady with her hair still in curlers. They had a large water truck on hand that they were using to wash the bodies. they also used it to wash the mud off of me and my equipment.

The city was struggling to keep the water treatment plant operating as the flood had washed away their screening on the Rapid Creek side that prevented debris from getting into the water treatment plant. The result was debris plugging up their three sump pumps in the pump room.

Craig Langerman and myself were asked to dive into the sump room and clean the debris from the screens around the pumps. This turned into a full time job. The would turn off one of the pumps at a time so we could safely clear the debris. This was a challenge as there was zero visibility and we had to do everything by feel. During this time we wore holes in our wet suits and plugged up our regulators. We worked 8-10 hours a day for several weeks after the flood, and after that we were still on call for several weeks.

It was a gratifying feeling that we were able to help.


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“Duane Grosz,” Flood of 1972, accessed September 28, 2022, https://1972flood.omeka.net/items/show/637.