Looking back on the 1972 Rapid City flood nearly 50 years later

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — 50 years after floodwaters raged through Rapid City, and following 5 years of writing and editing, former mayor Don Barnett has finished his book.

Barnett was mayor from 1971 to 1975. He was 28 years old when the 1972 flood occurred. 238 lives were lost during that tragic night.

“It seemed that we had many wonderful things happening in Rapid City including the construction of the new Civic Center but then we had the flood in 1972. And it was a very, very terrible moment in South Dakota history and even national history,” Don Barnett said.

The 50th anniversary of the 1972 Flood will be in June of 2022.

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