User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

68° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options



Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started. | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Guardsman Remembers RC Flood Cleanup

June 7, 2012, 10:17 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Guardsman Remembers RC Flood Cleanup

They were images of an aftermath from a rapid rise and equally quick fall of Rapid Creek. And 40 years later the pictures of KELO-TV archives prove you don't have to leave home to see war.

“It reminded you of a war; a battlefield, you might say, as bad as it was,” Vern Brown said. “The only difference was there were no holes in the ground. The metal was all pushed in a pile.”

Brown was a 32-year-old National Guardsman then. His week of summer training turned into the real thing in an instant when a wall of rushing water taller than most people swept through town, toppling homes and moving everything else in it's path.

“[The cars] weren't sitting on top the mud. They were sitting straight up and down with the nose down inside. All you could see were the rear door and the trunk; that's all you could see,” Brown said.

But he remembers the people too. More than 200 bodies were recovered. Brown maintained the refrigeration trucks that housed them.

“When you opened the doors and you saw the bodies in there, that's what really got to me,” Brown said. “They were little kids, infants, and adults. It's very hard to explain.”

It was especially difficult for a man with children of his own waiting at home. And it's something Brown has rarely talked about.

“I will never forget,” Brown said. “When I come back, I quit the Guard because I could not take it any more.”

And he didn't go back. For 38 years Brown stayed away from Rapid City

The South Dakota National Guard celebrates its 150th Anniversary at its Camp Rapid headquarters From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. MT.

Previous Story

Next Story




You may also like

16-Year-Old Teen Found Dead On Interstate 90

10/2/2015 10:48 AM

Authorities did not identify the victim, but described him as a 16 year old from Minnehaha County.

Full Story
Body On I-90 Identified

10/2/2015 4:02 PM

The teenager found dead on Interstate 90 has been identified as an O'Gorman High School student.

Full Story
Body Found Dead On I-90

10/1/2015 11:38 PM

At 10:45 p.m. Thursday, deputies found a body at Interstate 90 and North Kiwanis Avenue, near the Interstate 29 interchange.

Full Story
Shooting Suspect Faces Felony Charges

10/1/2015 10:43 AM

Mason T. Buhl, of Sioux Falls, faces first-degree attempted murder and commission of a felony while armed with a firearm.  He will be charged as ...

Full Story
Helicopter Crash Near Parkston Under Investigation

10/5/2015 11:25 AM

Emergency crews responded to a helicopter crash near Parkston Monday morning. 

Full Story