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Arts & Life

Rapid City comes together to remember the 1972 flood

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Joshua Haiar

In Rapid City, this week people are gathering to commemorate the flood of 1972 and to honor the 238 people who died.

At the Journey Museum, Corey Christianson, an exhibit curator, said they have brought together a range of stories and materials focused on that night 50 years ago.

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Joshua Haiar

"This exhibit exemplifies what happened on the night of June 9th, 1972 — as well as the aftermath of the flood," she said.

The museum has photos, stories from survivors, a timeline, and a large map on the floor that takes viewers back to that night.

Some other events include a concert, the opportunity for survivors to tell their stories, and an SDPB original documentary.

Michael Madden became a Rapid City council member soon after the flood. He says it's important the community never forgets what happened that night.

"Some of the most beautiful spots in Rapid City happen to be where the flood was," Madden said. "And the temptation as time goes on, and as people get further away from the actuality of the disaster itself, it's going to be harder and harder to protect the integrity of the floodway. And once you've lost that, you're right back to where you were before the flood."

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Watch the full SDPB documentary, Surviving the '72 Flood, here: