One Of The Worst Disasters In U.S. History Happened Right Here In South Dakota

In the summer of 1972, South Dakotans suffered the worst flood in its history. The Rapid City Flood (aka Black Hills Flood) caused so much damage – and the death toll was so great – that it gained national attention. It was one of the worst disasters in U.S. history, and to this day, the thought of it still brings chills to the spines of those who remember.

During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.

Take a look at this video posted on YouTube by Kristopher Richmond. It shows more photos and some video footage of the flood:

Do you remember the Rapid City Flood of 1972? Tell us your stories about one of the worst disasters in U.S. history in the comments.

Address: South Dakota, USA
The OIYS Visitor Center

Worst Disasters in U.S. History

June 05, 2021

How much rain fell during the Rapid City Flood of 1972?

The rainfall event that befell the Black Hills region of South Dakota on June 9th and 10th was remarkable. Over much of the region, 10 or more inches of rain fell over an area of about 60 square miles. In some areas, up to 15 inches of rain fell. On average, South Dakota gets 23 inches of rain per year, which shows just how remarkable this event really was. The incredible onslaught of rainfall caused dams to fail, resulting in even more catastrophic flooding and numerous deaths. 

Was the Black Hills Flood in South Dakota the worst disaster in South Dakota history? 

The definition of “worst” is, of course, subjective; however, if one looks at disasters in terms of death tolls, the Black Hills Flood of 1972 certainly stands among the worst. 238 people lost their lives in the flooding. However, in 1888, there was another natural disaster with a similar body count. A ferocious snowstorm killed 235 in a combination of intense snowfall and hyper-extreme low temperatures. In 2003, the town of Manchester was leveled by a monstrous F4 tornado. There have been many disasters in South Dakota’s past, but it always perseveres. 

What were the worst disasters in South Dakota?

There have been more than a few notable disasters in South Dakota’s history. The state has seen its fair share of floods, blizzards, tornadoes, and more. For example, in 1888, an incredible snowstorm with extreme temperatures of -20 degrees Fahrenheit killed 235, and in 1972, the infamous Black Hills Flood killed 238. Towns like Manchester, South Dakota, have been virtually erased by monster tornadoes. South Dakota is no stranger to disasters brought on by mother nature. For a list of some of the worst disasters South Dakota has seen, check this article out.

Address: South Dakota, USA