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Arts & Life

Former Rapid City mayor Don Barnett reflects on the flood of 1972

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Courtesy of Minnelusa Historical Association
/
Journey Museum
The 1972 flood in Rapid City, S.D., killed 238 people and destroyed more than 1,300 homes. The city responded by establishing a no-build zone in the flood plain. Other cities across the country adopted similar policies after the disaster.
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Don George Barnett

The attached audio is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment, hosted by Lori Walsh.

Let's take a moment now to remember the Rapid City flood of 1972. Don Barnett was the mayor when the flood struck. It killed 238 people and transformed the area along Rapid Creek.

In a recent interview, Barnett talked about the rain-soaked hours before the wall of water swept through the city, and the moment he realized how bad the flood could get.