50 Years After the Night of June 9, 1972 On the evening of June 9, 1972, the most destructive flood in South Dakota history, and one of the deadliest floods in US history, struck Rapid City and the Hills region. A total of 15 inches of rain fell in a matter of hours, causing a flood that resulted in the loss of 238 lives and injured more than 3,000 citizens. It destroyed 720 homes and severely damaged another 1,400 dwellings and 200 commercial structures along Rapid Creek.
This year’s 50th theme is ‘Remember, Honor, Commemoration.’ We remember, honor and pay tribute to the 238 individuals whose lives were lost, to the families and friends who lost loved ones in the tragedy and to the tireless work and dedication of volunteers and the community to recover and rebuild. We also honor and commemorate the commitment of our community – citizens and officials – to establish, preserve and protect our greenway for today’s and future generations to enjoy. It is important for the people living, working and enjoying Rapid City today to understand what happened 50 years ago this summer and to see how Rapid City has developed since then.