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50 years after flood, Guard soldier still haunted by recovery mission

Darrel Heimes
From the book 'Surviving the '72 Flood'
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Johnny Sundby Photography
As a young National Guard soldier, Darrel Heimes helped rescue survivors and recover bodies during the catastrophic 1972 flood in Rapid City. He is pictured in the Hotel Alex Johnson, where he had planned to stay on the night of the flood during a break from National Guard training.

The attached audio above is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment.

The 50th anniversary of the 1972 Black Hills Flood is June 9th. It’s a time to honor the 238 lives lost, and it also brings a flood of memories for survivors. Every week between now and the anniversary, SDPB is featuring stories from those survivors, in their own words.

This week, we hear from Darrel Heimes, of Rapid City. He spent the night of the flood working with other National Guard soldiers to rescue people from the water. In the days immediately after the flood, he searched for survivors.

An SDPB documentary about the 1972 flood is in production now. Stay tuned for more information about that this spring.