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NWS Reflects On 1972 Flood

June 8, 2012, 10:28 PM by Michaela Read

NWS Reflects On 1972 Flood

When the sun rose on June 10th, 1972, it followed an anything but normal night.

"They played my warning from 10 p.m. on to 10:35 p.m. They didn't turn it off at 10:35 p.m. because they lost all electrical power at the station," former Rapid City Mayor Don Barnett said.

Many of those who lost their lives in the tragedy were unaware they were danger until the flood hit their homes.

"Half of those people never received any warning at all about the magnitude of the potential rains that evening," Barnett said.

While many remember the past, the National Weather Service also wants people to look towards the future and being prepared is at the forefront.

"A lot of things have changed to help us issue warnings sooner and with more confidence and details to pinpoint where the flooding is more likely," National Weather Service meteorologist Susan Sanders said.

The National Weather Service will be at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Saturday and Sunday answering questions and even demonstrating how flooding happens.

Sanders says that a flood of this magnitude happening again is unlikely and with the new advances of technology, alerting the public will be a lot faster.

"Once we determine there is a flooding potential we can send out that warning in a matter of minutes and get out to people, not just watching radio and TV but get out on texts and email messages," Sanders said.

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