City’s remembrance events showing areas most geographically impacted by Flood of ’72
The City of Rapid City's two main events Wednesday will be along areas where the Flood of '72 has left the most geographical impact.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — The City of Rapid City is set to hold a commemoration for the 50th Anniversary of the 1972 Flood on Wednesday and Thursday.
On Wednesday, June 8, Rapid City Parks and Recreation will host a Flood Memorial Walk at 10 a.m. The walk follows in line with a walk the city has held every year for the last five decades — remembering the nearly 240 people that died in the flood.
New this year is the 50th Flood Observance Bike Ride that’s hosted by Parks and Recreation and will start at 4 p.m. at Founders Park on Wednesday.
As for the meaning in the events, it comes for the devastation of the flood that also happened to change many things.
“There’s always kind of this remembrance and looking back and looking at where we are now,” said Adam Weaver, a GIS specialist with the City of Rapid City and Pennington County.
Some city officials will say that the perhaps the biggest change is the geographical landscape of Rapid City.
To show how the areas before the flood were impacted geographically, the city created a digitized website.
“When you go in the map, it’s georeferenced on your phone, so you can have it on your phone,” Weaver said. “Look at it — you can see there’s a yellow building. So you might be standing in what is now a tennis court, but in 1971 it was a home.”
Weaver said that some of the areas most impacted include the Central States Fairgrounds, Founders Park and the area now known as The Monument.
“As you navigate from the sky in the city is the greenway is the center,” Weaver said. “I mean, it’s how you say — okay, this is where Sioux Park is. Or you can move it really easy just looking at that shape and the flood made that shape,” Weaver said.
To help commemorate the change, the city is also holding its memorial walk and a bike ride along those areas.
“You hear people who have memories of living in the flood and surviving the flood. It’s just something that we just want to remember and keep that history going,” said Lindsey Myers, the Park and Recreation specialist with Rapid City.
For a more complete list of Flood events, click here.