1972 South Dakota Flood - TMalmay
Page 8--Huron (S.D.) Daily Plainsman--Sunday. June U, 1972 Newsman Reports Horror Of Black Hills Flood By JERRY MAS1JEK Rapid City Journal - Wire Editor RAPID CITY, S.D. ( A P ) -- The horror of UKJ flood that had torn life out of Hie Black Mills didn't really strike me until dawn Saturday. It started about 8 p.m. Fri- day with a call from Journal photographer Don Polovich. He had heard rcnorls of liigh water along Rimrock Highway in the lliscga area west of Rap-id City. It started as sort of a lark. I knew it was ruining hard, but ho one had prepared us (or Uie wild night . . , and morning ahead. There didn't seem lo be any real danger. The water from Rapid Creek' was running across the road En some places on (he way up, but our two pickups made it through in good shape. Rut it was starling to look more serious. As we headed toward IHscga, the rain really hit. We pulled onto the shoulder and watched in amazement as a small stream spilling from the hill- side turned into a four-foot wide torrent. We turned back at this point, foul were halted along with a number of other vehicles by a three-foot wail of water spilling across the highway. We were stuck, but it seemed the water would subside in a couple of hours. Then we heard that at least one bridge was out and U would be days before t r a f f i c was moving normally again. We decided to walk back lo lawn, shooting pictures on the way. Normally clear and placid Rapid Creek, -lu feet lo our right, sounded like a freight train passing in the night. It must have been 150 feet wide in some places. We could hear people trapped in houses oh the other side of the' creek calling plaintively, rather than desperately, for help, It was pitch black, rain was ; AMONG THE PARTICIPANTS in the - tton of the Zip Feed Mills, Inc., branch plant Â·here Saturday were Paul Batcheller, left, Sioux Falls, president of the firm; Tom Batcheller, manager of the Huron plant; Gordon (Cobble) Magness, who owned the land on which the plant was constructed; and Rex Parsons, executive ! vice president of Midwest Feed Manufacturers' Association, who was the featured speaker. (Plainsman Photo) Zip Plant In Huron Dedica ted Sa tu rday falling sheets and all we could tin was listen to the picas. Ho\v many people were swept to their deaths ill that area alone, I'll never know. About dawn we decided we'd liikc toward Hapid City about three miles east. The carnage was unbelievable as we picked our way clown a major Black Hills highway. Gigantic blocks o[ asphalt and concrete as large as the walls of a house were slrcwn across the roadbed. Boulders lay haphazard and bridge structures were ripped and dangling. The smell of a world ripped apart hung in the air. It was like nothing I've ever smclled before and hope to God I never do again. Mud was everywhere. Once beautiful homes bad been ob- literated. Articles from a shat- tered world lay scattered ev- erywhere. Here a shoe, there a table top, beside us a crushed toy. As we slogged down Hie high- way we came to the Cleghorn Springs (ish hatchery on the outskirts of the city. The rear- ing ponds wore underwater, the offices were smashed and we could see where the creek had come out of its banks by what we estimated was round 400 feet. Everywhere there was nothing. Here and there little knots of people stared blankly at their homes ... or where their homes had been. Rapid City Contractor Owen Emmet gave a short Hit to where his home had been. It was still there, but it was smashed and mangled. His wife wondered aloud whether their dog was al- right. S e v e r a l survivors were perched on roofs and the only sounds were the soft squish of tires on mud, the occasions" bark of a dog and a faint, meaningless greeting of "Morn- ing." Near once beautiful Canyon Lake Park the nauseating smell of propane gas escaping from ruptured tanks was almost overpowering. Canyon Lake was gone. Rap- id" Creek rushed through r. sea of mud, automobiles and home furnishings, H looked as though some insane giant had taken the palm of his hand and slapped it into the lakebed, emptying it. The dam at the lower end o fine lake had liter- ally been ripped from its stone anchors. The park was like a desolate moonscape. Giant trees were uprooted. Picnic tables, play- ground equipment and the arti- cles of everyday life choked the land. The beautifully m a n i cured grass had huge gouges tori) from it. A body lay in a half-iridden jumble of wreckage. We hur- ried past. And the horror of life torn apart was the only thing on my mind. Â· A usually kind God and his nature gone wild had lorn life out of Rapid City and the Black Hills. I didn't want to see any more. I wanted lo go iiome and hold my wife and kids and have them tell me I'd wake up in a minute. I didn't wake up and I still don't want to see any more. : 'Routine' Picture Assignment Turns Into A Rescue Mission The new branch planl of Zip | Another speaker at the decli- Feed Mills, Inc., which opened last 'month at Huron, was of- ficially dedicated Saturday in what was termed by the key- note speaker as "an opportunity for area fanners." The branch plant was con- structed on property purchased from Gordon (Cobble) Magness of Huron and is adjacent to the Magness Huron Livestock Ex- change. Â·Rex Parsons, executive vice president of Midwest Feed Man- ufacturers' Associatiou, was the keynote speaker at the dedica- tion program and he told the spectators that if they're going to survive in agriculture today "you must rely on such part- ners as Zip Feed." .He urged the farmers "lo be- come a partner with your feed man," noting that all of the technology which is available through the Zip plant can he realized by individual farmers by associating wilh them. "I believe in free enterprise," he said, adding that this mill gives "you a chance to get a leg up in the animal produc- tion." He said "We are not just dedi- cating a plant here today, hut an opportunity for this entire area.' Weather Data FORECAST Huron and Vicinity: Vari- able cloudiness and warmer with chance of occasional showers or thunderstorms Sunday through Monday. Southerly winds 15 to 25 m.p.h. Suniiay. Highs Sunday near ';-, 80; lows Sunday night near N'tjO; highs Monday In middle sita Precipitation probability 20 Jteir cent Sunday ana 30 per cent Scnday night. South Dakota: Mostly cloudy Sunday and Sunday night. Vari- able cloudiness Monday. Chance of showers or thundershowers central and east Sunday and in the east portion Sunday night and Monday. Warmer Sunday, little temperature change Sun- day night and Monday except cooler extreme west Monday. Highs Sunday, 80 to 86; lows Sunday night, 50 to 57; highs Monday, 75 to l. Outlook Tuesday through Wednesday: Fair Tuesday and Wednesday. Cooler west portion Tuesday and a little cooler over Ilia state Wednesday. H i g h temperatures, 77 to 86 west and :ation program was Paul Jatchellcr of Sioux Falls, presi- lent of the firm, who described luron "as a new growth area vith the Oahc Irrigation Project anting up." Tom Ba tchcUe r, who will tianage the Huron plant, said IB'S looking forward to a new KEYSTONE (Continued from Page One) o go." Kemp, who completed the two- story structure just a year ago, said he had been watching the water in Bear Creek, whfch joins vith Battle Creek in the center of Keystone. 'I decided to cross the foot Bridge to check on things at the station and was just gone a couple of minutes," Kemp said. 'When 1 returned the footbridge was gone and the car bridge was rising. I immediately had all the oeople on the lower floor move to :he upper one. "Then as we watched, camp- ers, trailers and cars started coming down the creek, some of them bumping the building and the post supports for the upper deck. The deck then started to settle so I put them all in the upper floor of the residence sec- tion, "One woman was hurt, and I was sure glad to see the National Guard arrive about 3 a.m. They strung a cable to the upper level and made a temporary bridge. She was out and on her way for treatment at 2 a.m.," Kemp said. The young businessman said he didn't know whether he would rebuild his ruined motel; he doesn't know what his insurance covers or what financing he can obtain. "Now," he said, "I think ince the state wants a ighway through here, it's time he state moves in, buys us out nd puts in the wide highway h ey wa nt. The whole east creek) side of the town is wiped era of agri-business develop- ment in South Dakota. He also expressed h i s ap- preciation to the people of Hu- ron for the "fine reception you have given" (he Batcheller fam- ily. Others to speak at the dedica- tion program include Mayor C. H. (Jumbo) Peterson and Mag- ness. Denny Oviatt, executive secretory of the South Dakota Livestock Feeders Association and farm director of KSOO at Sioux Falls, served as master of ceremonies. Prior to the dedication pro- gram a ribbon cutting ceremony was conducted in front of the huge plant. Public tours were held throughout the day. Zip Feed began operating in South Dakota in 1037 and the current mill at Sioux Falls went into operation in 1956. This mill was equipped to turn out 40 tons of feed an hour and has a storage bin capacity of 250,- 000 bushels. The Huron mill is capable of turning out 30 tons of feed pel- hour and features drive-in ware- louse loading as well as one- floor mill operation. 85 to 90 east. Lows, 54 to west and 62 to 65 east. TEMPERATURES And PRECIPITATION Pre. Max. Mia. cip. Huron ------------ 68 53 Aberdeen ..... ...74 52 Lcmmon -------- 70 53 Tr, Mobridga ________ 70 53 Tr, Philip ___________ .72 55 Picksfown ........ 74 59 Tr Pierre .......... 70 54 .03 Hapid City ...... 78 15 1.3: Sioux Falls ...1.70 52 Watcrto-'--. ...... 70 4*1 Chicago -- ....... 40 45 Fort Worth ...... !)1 69 Los Angeles ..... 77 61 Miami ____________ 84 75 Minneapolis _____ 69 41 New York ...... 64 55 .1! Phoenix ......... 97 76 Washington ..... 72 61 Record temperatures: High 0 in 1056; low 35 in 1303. Total this monlh to date -- .0 Normal this month lo dale 1.2 Total this year lo dale .. 13.1 Normal tfii-s year to date 7.G N o r m a l for entire year _. 17.3 ut." Many of the visitors lo the Concern Voiced By Legislators By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS South Dakota state Republican House and Senate leaders, Sen. Lloyd Schrag, Marion and Rep. James Rothstein, Mobridge, Sat- urday pledged their cooperation if emergency action concerning the Black Hills flood disaster re- quires a special legislative ses- sion. Schrag and Hothslein assured Governor Kncip's office of (heir concern and Ihe concern of, all South Dakotans regarding the disaster situation in western South Dakota. They said if a special legislative session is re- quired, they would cooperate in responding to the situation. irea, now tourists without trans- lortation, are being cared for at Mount Rushmore, four miles rom Keystone. Some tourists were unable to _;et up Battle Creek to isolated camps at which they were stay- ng Friday night. Most are just waiting to find out where and in what conditions .heir transportation might be in; state and county highway crews have begun clearing debris and making emergency road repairs; Ihe National Guard units are as- sisting, hut at noon Saturday were still concentrating their ef- forts in a search for missing per- sons or others in trouble. Rockerville, midway between Keystone and Rapid City, also suffered considerable flood dam- age in the small gulch in which it is located. A campground \vas wiped out but most of the dam- age was from water, debris and mud entering shop or other build- ings, flooded basements and torn up bituminous surfacing, One family, however, rode out the flood which hit that commun- ity in a two-story house. Jerry Brink said, "It was about 11 p.m. My wife and I, our two children and a neighbor girl had gone to bed. f heard a bang 1 like the wires being torn off the. house. I was sleeping near a window and when I stretched out my arm, 1 felt water so jumped out of bed -- into water knee deep, "I immediately \vohe up the 27-Degree Low Sets Dulutli Mark DULUTH, Minn. (AP) -- The lowest temperalure ever recorded in Ihe month of June at Dululii. 27 degrees, has snapped (he rec- ord low for June 10 of 32 that was set in 1958. The previous low for the monlh of 30 was set June 2, 1962. At Pine City in east central Minnesota, frost was visible on the ground when a 29-degree reading was reported Saturday morning and some icing was re- porlcd on corn crops in the Pine City area. Other Minnesota low temper- atures included: Hibbing 30; St. Cloud 35; Rochester 3G and Inter- national Falls 37. (Editors Note: Hapid C i t y Journal staff writer H a r o l d Hifigins lias been in town for two weeks following his gradua- tion from South Dakota State University. After all his troubles in finding an apartment, he now has to find a new one, because his was burned down in Friday and Saturday's flash flooding in the Black Hills area, Here is his account), By HAROLD HIGGINS Rapid City Journal Staff Writer RAPID CITY (AP) -- I went lo the Fifth Street bridge after 11:30 p. m. Friday to get a pic- ture of the flooding. The landlord of my basement apartment 20 feet from Rapid Creek said I might be able to get a picture of water flowing over the bridge, half a block away. I figured my newspaper would want some shots of the flood because it was supposedly one of the worst in years. With my 35 mm camera and strobe light in a plastic bag around my neck, 1 sloshed up the sidewalk in my sneakers and blue jeans to get a routine picture of a creek overflowing its banks. When I got to the bridge, water was flowing around the ends and across the road. I look a few shots and stood back for a moment lo look for a more interesting angle from which 1 to shoot. I was standing in the middle of the road when a four-foot bank of water came down the creek. The mass of water ex- tended for 50 yards on each side of the creek levee, Riding on the large wave like a surf- board was a blue 30- to 40-foot house trailer, I tried to grab a quick shot of the bank of water hut the preceding w a t e r rushing against my legs made me un- steady and I had to grab a nearby mail box post to keep from falling down. The water, after the initial wave, was a litter higher than my waist. The current was strong, hut by hand pulling myself alone a fence and tlien the bridge I worked my way lo higher ground. Pieces of wood and oth- er debris keept hitting my body and throwing me off balance. The high ground I made it to was on the opposite side of :he water from where I lived. So I trudged off to the Journal office, hoping there would he someone there to talk to, or at least to he with. There was no one at the office. The staffers were all out cover- ing the flood, which by this time was a major disaster. Since there was no one at the office I decided to walk five blocks to the police station. It was being evacuated just as I got there. Nobody seemed lo know what was going on so I grabbed a ride on a Civil Defense truck back a block to- ward the Journal. I walked the rest of the way to the office, but decided not to stop in. Nobody would be there anyway. The next closest place to find company was the fire station, a block beyond the Journal. Most of the trucks were gone except the aerial ladder truck. Two paid firemen and four vol- unteers from the bar next door were working furiously to open the garage door, which had jammed half open with its pow- er opener stopped with the elec- tricity outage. They finally got the huge truck out the back of the fire station by inching it around the cue people from the flood. I thought it would be a good way to get a story and keep abreast of what was happen- ing, so I answered affirmatively along with the four other men. We were told fo grab raincoats from the racks and the chief apologized for not having any helmets. One of the airmen said, "That's all right," And we as- sembled next to the aerial lad- der for instructions. Th e two firemen had com- mand of our team. With a calm voice, one said "hang on tight and if we have to use a n y equipment let us (the profes- sioanls) take it off the truck. You can get tilings really screwed up if it's not done right," Our first rescue mission was aborted three blocks from the fire station because Ihe water from the street was r u n n i n g onlo the engine and making it mis- fire. We were supposed to rescue people "hanging from trees." The driver made a neat three- FLOOD (Continued from Page One) Police Chief. Ronald Messer said he could use 1,500 military policemen to aid his department. Gov. Richard Kneip, who arrived Saturday, said rescuers "were picking up bodies all across the southwestern part of the city." Corning also said there was general flooding in the northern Black Hills area of Lead, Deadwood and Sturgis. Rapid City police said they feared tha death count would be much higher. Bodies were reported found in trees, cars and along the edges of ditches as the water subsided. Two South Dakota National Guardsmen and corner into the alley. The truck pulled around Ihe front of the station where I slood wilh the four volunteers, all airmen from Ellsworth AFB on leave for the night. Fire Chief Ken Johnson asked if anybody wanted to help res- three Rapid City firemen were among the victims. Wo names had been released by late Saturday afternoon. Corning said the other missing guardsman was into the water while attempting to rescue people. "One had his one hand on the door of the truck and had a little girl by the arm with the other hand," Corning said. "The little girl, I guess was about 12, started to slip. He let go of the truck to reach for her: They were both swept away." Corning said the other missing guardeman was one of four who had formed a human chain from a tree in an attempt to reach a flood victim in the water. "The tree broke and two of the four men were swept away. But one-of them managed to escape the flood," he said. There were about 1,800 guardsmen at summer encampment in the area who were activated for search and rescue duty. Fire department officials said the three fire- men reported as missing were fighting a house fire that erupted after a gas line ruptured. The rushing water dislodged the house from its foundation, knocking the firemen into flooding Rapid Creek. The two hospitals in this city of 43,000 as well as facilities at nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base were jammed with the injured. Raging waters swept cars down streets of Rapid Cily while homes and mobile homes were scattered and splintered in the flood areas. Bridges were washed away and many roads closed. "A Volkswagen was floating down the street with the people hanging on and screaming for help," one eyewitness said. Residents were urged not to use any water from Rapid City's system because the water plant had been flooded and contamination was feared. Authorities feared for hundreds of campers in the Black Hills area, a popular summer resort area. They said it might be weeks before all the bodies were recovered. Keystone, a small town southwest of Rapid City near the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, also was reported heavily damaged by the rains. Eight of the 150 victims were from Keystone, said Rapid City's mayor. Communications with the small town were severed. Dayton Canaday, South Dakota's state historian, said the floods will be one of the worst natural dis- asters in South Dakola's history. He said 112 died in a blizzard that sti-uck the slate in 1888. The rain which started the floding began in the northern Black Hills area about 6 p.m. (MDT) Friday. Within 90 min- utes, warnings had been broad- cast urging campers to move to higher ground. Authorities said many of the warnings went un- heeded. First flooding started in the NEWS Â· BRIEFS WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pres- ident Nixon authorized emer- gency federal aid Saturday for North Dakota and Washington state regions damaged by May flooding. SILVER SPRING, Sid. (AP -- Sen. George McGovern, D- S.D., visited George C. Wallace in the hospital Saturday and told newsmen afterwards he would not rule out a spot in the administration for the Alabama governor should llcGovern win the presidency. GLASGOW, Mont. (AP) -- Flash flooding,-sparked by tor- rential rains,' struck eastern stranding at least 10 families according lo the National Weath. er Service. Disaster Fund Begun By Union MITCHELL (AP) - Ken Fin ney, Mitchell, president of thi South Dakota Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, Saturday an nounced the establishment of a Rapid City disaster fund to stricken families of the Black Hills area. Finney requested that all lo cals of the SDPWU'and its auxil iary make contributions to th fund. He said a total of $13 was collected Saturday after noon at the state AFL-CIO con vention in Mitchell. Finney also invited o t h e groups or individuals to coi tribute to the fund. Finney said all contribution should be. sent to the Mitche; National Bank, P.O. Box Mitchell. 98 MRS. PHILLIPS DIES Mrs. H. SV. Phillips, 545 Sara- toga Ave., Kingsford, Mich., formerly of Huron, died Thurs- day. The funeral will be Mon- day in Michigan, Mrs. Phillips was in Huron last summer to attend the reunion of the Huron High School class of 1921. high ground area north of Rap id Cily about 9 p.m. and wilhi minutes Mayor Barnett broad cast an order that campers re siding in the Rapid Cree drainage area should evacuate An hour later he issued anothe evacuation order. Flood waters began ri about 10:30 p.m., finally spil ing into Canyon Lake, a sma pond protected at its lower en by an earthen dam. About p.m. (he dam collapsed an swirling waters up to five fe deep swept through a westci business district known as Ba con Park. A National Guardsman sal that at its crest, the flood wi ters were as much as 20 fei above the banks of Rapid Creel Trailer parks throughout th Rapid Creek drainage area wcr hit hard wilh water swcepin through trailer houses. Flood waters cut off most the entrances to the city fc several hours during the nigl By dawn, flooding in the Rap City business district had su sided. Rapid Creek winds Ihrough low area of the Rapid City bu ness district for several block Tile Canyon Lake earthen da on the southwest edge of Rap City gave way, sending its w ler into the creek which me; dcrs northeast through the ci and finally turns south in Rapid Valley and the Chcycn River east and south of Rap City. int lurn in Ihe middle of a oded intersection and we aded for First Street to in- stigate a report of children randed on a house trailer. The truck was stopped at rail- ad (racks lliat cross the street. Ihe opposite side was flood ater wilh only the lops of cars the surface. We shouted and whistled for few minutes, but there was response. With all of us hanging onlo safety line we walked down B railroad tracks which led to deeper water. Highpowered ashlights and shouls produced ithing, so we inched our way ick through the current to the re truck. A thin, dark airman and I ot back in the truck, which ad an open cockpit, when faint houts were heard from the area which we had just been. Onca lain we waded into the swift ater, each holding the safety ne and the fireman yelling, Everybody hold onto the damn ope, I don't want to see any- ody let go of it." . The person in trouble was a liddle aged man. He was in light shock and the two pros ried to hold him and themselves gainst the water. We returned to the fire station nd ate sandwiches and coffee onated by the next door bar. Since the power was out, Ihe lobile radio in a pickup truck arked In (he garage was being sed for communication with the ther resuce units, all of which 'ere stranded outside the center f the city. Six buildings were blazing long the flooded creek, hut fire- men were helpless in getting o them because of the high vater. Also, it had been decided Ihe fire chief that rescue missions to save lives were more important than burning luildihgs. The nexl task lasted until lawn. We were to ride around he city looking for and helping people hi trouble. Constantly the unit grew, to n unknown size. Some of the rucks had gotten back to the tation and men kept switching rom truck to truck. We helped people get to land rom partially submerged cars, ;ave out ham sandwiches to lungry people and asked ques- '.ions about missing persons. Often, in parts of the city mknown to a new resident like me, we walked in cold knee deep water among flooded and wrecked houses. Shining flashlighls Into dark soggy houses we discovered a variety of forgotten pets, a scared 83-year-old woman, a very young baby all alone and a woman face down in the water of a flooded basement. Contaminated water and thÂ« sight of tragedy made the ham sandwiches indigestible. With dawn and a brief coffea jreak at the fire station, I da- cided to leave my group of nameless men and walk down lo the creek to see what was left of my apartment. T expected Lo see it was flooded. The creek was still too high to cross and the bridge was gone so I walked along the of the flood water until I was opposite where the house had been. My house and Ihe two next to it had burned and the ashes were swept away in the flood water. Just about everyIhing I owned was gone, except what I wore and a mud-clogged camera. A guy I had been talking to about the loss of my belongings gave me a ride back to the Journal. When I got out of his battered pickup he said, "Hey, if you haven't found a place to slay by lonight come over to 217 W. Eighth Streel. I haven't got more than an inch of water on the floor. Emergency Broadcasts Warn Rapid Citians Of Flood Danger rest of the family and the neigh bor girl and we all scrambled upslairs. I guess we rode it out, Brink continued. "The building came lo rest on Ihe highway, bul I broke oul all Ihe windows so we would have a chance to get out. Soon onr landlord, Pat Walker, came to help. My wife and I stepped out on Ihe roof of the porch, handed Ihe children down to him and then jumped down. "I guess you might say we were lucky. Our dog could probably give you a bolter slory. lie was lied up, on about a 25- fool rope and had to swim it out for nearly a half hour." HAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) -- "If you find a body, do not louch it, call ..... ." "Slay in your homes and do not impede emergency vehicle Iraffic. Don't drink the waler." "Boats are needed imme- diately . . ." These messages on an emer- gency broadcast system tell only a part of the story of the massive flood Cily and the that hit northern Rapid Black Hills overnight, leaving many dead, homes and mobile homes s c a t t e r e d a n d splintered, bridges out and cars slrcwn about slrccls and parks. The final death toll will not be known for some lime and rescue operations are still un-1 night. About 1,800 South Dakota der way. The flash flooding followed about seven Inches of rain on the central and northern Black Hills Friday evening. Major rivers were created from Rapid Creek through Rapid City, Elk Boulder Creek to Creek and Sturgis. Communications are out and reports from northern Black Hills towns are sketchy. Dam- age was heavy and even new interstate highway bridges have been swamped. Many persons were still stranded Saturday morning and all agencies involved were making use of boats which had I A r m y National Guardsmen in summer training at Camp R a p - id and other nearby sites were on duty throughout the night. Homeless were being housed in schools, churches and pri- vate homes. Still burning were a number of fires that fire equipment couldn't reach. Propane trucks washed away by the flood created a risk of more fire. Gas service was shut off. Firc- fighlcrs were eonccntraling more on rescuing trapped vic- tims than in fighting fires. Bridges were out throughout (he town and on Black Hills roads. Even pedestrian t r a f f i c been called for throughout Ihe I was banned in some areas be- cause of fallen power lines. A missing persons bureau was established early Saturday. The Ponnington County sher- iff's office and Civil Defense of- fice were jammed with people seeking reports on the missing or relaying information about persons slranded in trees or atop ears. Mayor Donald Barnetl, who appealed all Friday night for persons living next lo Rapid Creek lo evacuate Ihcir homes, Saturday morning ordered po- lice to arrest sightseers. Interstate 00 was closed both north and east of Rapid City. The worst hit area, perhaps, was what is known as Rimrock Highway, S.D. 40 west of Rapid and Canyon wide river, City which shares a valley with Rapid Creek. Most bridges were out and travel blocked. High water at 3,000 to 1,000 elevation made a lowland flood plain of parls of Rapid City. At Canyon Lake Park, Ihe dam was washed out Lake became a , Cars, rubble and probably bod- ies were scattered around the edges of what was once Canyon Lake. The West Boulevard Inter- state MM loop into the cily was one of (he few routes open to the downlown area. At the West Boulevard bridge near Omaha St. cars and house Irall- crs were washed onto Ihe street, but the bridge held.