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June 5, 2018

Library Exhibit: Remembering the 1972 Flood | The Robb DeWall Collection
Rapid City Public Library, 610 Quincy St.

Library Exhibit: Remembering the 1972 Flood | The Robb DeWall Collection

On June 9, 1972, one of the most devastating floods in our nation’s history swept through Rapid City and nearby communities. The disaster left 238 people dead and over 3,000 injured. Damage to the area was extreme. 1,335 homes and 36 businesses were destroyed in Rapid City alone, and total damages throughout the Black Hills were estimated at $165 million.

Beginning Tuesday, June 5 through the month of June, at the downtown library (610 Quincy Street, Main Floor), view transcripts of KOTA news broadcasts the week of the Flood as part of the Robb DeWall Collection. The transcripts begin on June 9, 1972, the night that the Flood hit, and go through June 17, 1972, telling the dramatic story of the disaster that swept through Rapid City, and the recovery efforts in the eight days that followed. Transcripts of the broadcasts and photos of Robb DeWall are used by permission of KOTA.

Robb DeWall, a long-time resident of Rapid City, and broadcast journalist and historian, was the EBS (Emergency Broadcasting System) broadcaster during the first 13 hours of the Rapid City Flood. He worked at KOTA Territory Television for over 20 years, and when he passed away in 2006, his estate donated his papers to the Rapid City Public Library for preservation.

To view information about the flood as well as the library's other digital archives, visit our website and click on Research.

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