RAPID CITY, S.D.(KOTA)- Thursday, June 9th is the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Black Hills Flood.
That flood, among the worst disasters in the history of the state, killed 238, injured thousands, and changed the footprint of the city forever.
The Journey Museum hosted a community storytelling session, and dozens came out to share their stories of flood trauma and survival.
Emotions were high for some, including Bruce Lehmann, who was among the first to accept the microphone.
Lehmann reflected on the devastation in the following days.
Lehmann credited a number of ham radio operators, including his father, for keeping live communications post-flood.
Lehmann said he believes he has symptoms that fall in the category of post-traumatic stress as a result of the flood.
Flood survivors flooded the Journey Museum Theater yesterday, and shared their stories during a community storytelling session.
One survivor, Phillip Wendling, said that night was the first time his father saw him as an adult.
Wendling said everything was lost, but…
Wendling focused on stories of kindness in the aftermath of the flood.
Wendling also told a story of how he recovered, cleaned, and restored his younger brother’s bicycle in the aftermath of the flood.
Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender shared his message for survivors of the flood.
Allender said he is committed to preserving the Greenway.
While some construction has occurred on the Greenway, Allender said building in the floodplain continues to be a point of contention.
KOTA’s News Reporter C.J. Keene caught up with the mayor of Rapid City 1972, Don Barnett & he reflects on the flooding when it got started.
Check out the series of interviews regarding the 1972 Flood, go to www.kotaradio.com.