The Black Hills flood of June 9, 1972 is of particular interest to the author of this post, being a native of Rapid City. The unusually heavy rainfall that caused the flood and the death and destruction it left behind make it one of the state’s worst-ever natural disasters. While exploring the Black Hills books that are part of the Chilson Collection, I came across one entitled The Black Hills Flood of June 9, 1972 : A Historical Document, edited by Douglas M. Newlin. After doing a little research in library catalogs, I learned that copies of this book can also be found on the public shelves of I.D. Weeks Library, as well as in the Rapid City Public Library.
The book contains many reports that detail actions taken by citizens on the night of the flood, as well as in the days and weeks that followed. Content of the reports varies; personal experiences, emergency procedures, telephone and electrical company reports, and descriptions of outreach are just several examples of the large amount of information contained in this book. In addition to the many reports, the book features numerous photographs of the destruction left behind by the flood. There are also some really interesting before and after photographs of the Canyon Lake area.
Books such as this one serve to provide detailed information about such devastating disasters, as stated in the dedication of the book: “It is the hope that reading the events and the happenings in this book, will bring an understanding to those around the world, of the need to be prepared for any disaster that can happen, for it can happen.”
Check out the Rapid City Public Library’s flood website here: http://www.rapidcitylibrary.org/lib_info/1972Flood/index.asp
The Digital Library of South Dakota also has some flood images: http://dlsd.sdln.net/cdm4/browse.php?CISOROOT=/1972