SDOHC's Mission

The SDOHC is devoted to documenting the history of the Northern Plains region and the care of previously collected interviews.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fortieth Anniversary of the Rapid City Flood, 1972

This past weekend saw the 40th anniversary of the Rapid City, SD flood. This traumatic event that took place began the evening of June 9th 1972, with the next day shedding light on the amount of destruction and loss of life Rapid and its people had endured. The following recording and transcript clips are experiences of survivors of the night that brought 15 inches of rain to the Black Hills resulting in 238 deaths, millions of dollars worth of damage, and a new policy in flood water control aimed at preventing the cataclysmic destruction that happened from occurring again.

July 10,1972, Earl Hausle interviewing Lloyd St. Pierre, Chairman of Pennignton County Commissioners and former city council member. Mr. St. Pierre talks about leaving his home, due to the flood, and spending time in a Poplar Tree to avoid the water.  [South Dakota Oral History Project 0572]

Mr. and Mrs. Ira Allard speaking to John Watterson from the St. John's Hospital in Rapid City, SD about trying to escape from their home during the flood. [South Dakota Oral History Project 0580]

Annie Sharpfish and her daughter Mona Brought Plenty interviewed by John Watterson June 28, 1972. Talk about their seperate experiences during the Rapid City Flood. [South Dakota Oral History Project 0524]

-Jennifer McIntyre, SDOHC Digitizer/Curator

For more information about the Rapid City Flood of 1972 visit the Rapid City Library's website: Also, see the Rapid City Library's rcflood 1972's Photostream on Flickr at for then and now pictures of Rapid City.

Thank you for your continued interest in the South Dakota Oral History Center, if you have any questions or wish to contribute to our collections, please email us at or call us at 605-677-6386.


  1. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you!

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