USGS - science for a changing world

South Dakota Water Science Center

orange dotHome orange dotScience Topics orange dotOur Cooperators orange dotPublications orange dotGIS/Geospatial Resources orange dotNewsroom orange dotOutreach orange dotContact

DATA CENTER

INFORMATION CENTER

USGS IN YOUR STATE

USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.

There is a USGS Water Science Center office in each State. Washington Oregon California Idaho Nevada Montana Wyoming Utah Colorado Arizona New Mexico North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Texas Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Wisconsin Illinois Mississippi Michigan Indiana Ohio Kentucky Tennessee Alabama Pennsylvania West Virginia Georgia Florida Caribbean Alaska Hawaii New York Vermont New Hampshire Maine Massachusetts South Carolina North Carolina Rhode Island Virginia Connecticut New Jersey Maryland-Delaware-D.C.

Black Hills Area Floods - 1891 to 1900

Historical flood reports for the 1890s are sparser than for most other decades. In June 1891, substantial flooding occurred in the Deadwood and Lead area and along the Fall River in Hot Springs. A flood occurred along Spearfish Creek and in the Hot Springs area in July 1895. A storm that began on June 6, 1896, caused flooding throughout much of the Black Hills. In the Hot Springs area, floods occurred on September 12, 1896, and August 6–7, 1897.


[All locations in South Dakota unless otherwise specified. Relative magnitude of event: 1, extreme; 2, severe; 3, moderate; 4, minor; 5, very minor. --, not applicable]

Date of storm Date of flood Relative magnitude of event Primary stream Secondary stream(s) Primary town or area Description of event Source of information
1 2 3 4 5
May 31, 1891 June 1, 1891 -- -- -- X -- Whitewood Creek Fall River Deadwood, Lead Severe flood damage reported for Gold Run Gulch.  Hot Springs area also had storm and flood damage. Rapid City Journal (June 2, 1891). Page 1; page 2; page 3.
June 1892 June 1892 -- -- -- -- X Various Various -- Rail damaged between Rapid City and Chadron, Neb.  Rail damaged on way to Deadwood also. Rapid City Journal (June 7, 1892). Page 1; page 2.
June 1892 June 1892 -- -- -- -- X Various Various -- Flood damaged railroads and roads on June 6, 1892.  Prolonged rainfall reported 6 days later. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2008)
June 4–5, 1892 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Rapid City Rain total for year "has been greater than in any previous year" since record keeping began. Rapid City Journal (June 9, 1892).
-- -- -- -- -- -- X Various Various -- Rail damaged near Oelrichs.  Probably coincides with large flood along Horsehead Creek (approximately June 11–12, 1892) that was referenced in the Oelrichs Advocate article of June 17, 1915). Rapid City Journal (June 17, 1892).
July 1892 July 1892 -- -- -- -- X Beaver Creek -- -- Bridges over Beaver Creek washed out (between Buffalo Gap and Hot Springs). Rapid City Journal (July 4, 1892).
-- Mar. 1893 -- -- -- -- X Belle Fourche River Redwater River Belle Fourche Belle Fourche River rose about 15 feet, taking out one span of the railroad bridge. Rapid City Journal (Apr. 1, 1893).
Aug. 9, 1893 Aug. 9, 1893 -- -- -- X X Spring Creek -- -- Crops damaged along Spring Creek and heavy storm in Hermosa area. Rapid City Journal (Aug. 10, 1893).
Apr. 30, 1895 Apr. 30, 1895 -- -- -- -- X -- -- -- Train delayed from railroad washout east of Hay Springs, Neb. Rapid City Journal (May 1, 1895).
June 1895 June 1895 -- -- -- -- X Indian Creek -- -- Heavy rains caused high flows north of Belle Fourche. Rapid City Journal (June 6, 1895).
June 22, 1895 June 22, 1895 -- -- -- -- X Bear Butte Creek -- Sturgis Heavy rains and hail with flooding reported in and around Sturgis. Rapid City Journal (June 23, 1895).
July 22, 1895 July 22, 1895 -- -- -- -- X -- -- Hot Springs Damage reported to rail yard, track, and bridges in Hot Springs. Rapid City Journal (July 23, 1895).
July 22, 1895 July 22, 1895 -- -- -- X -- Fall River -- Hot Springs Article described "unprecedented" storm for Hot Springs area.  Bridges destroyed during flooding. Twomey and Magee (1983)
July 30, 1895 July 30, 1895 -- -- X X -- Spearfish Creek -- Spearfish Spearfish Creek reported as highest since 1883 due to heavy rain upstream from Spearfish. Rapid City Journal (Aug. 1, 1895).
May 1896 May 1896 -- -- -- X -- Sand Creek -- Oelrichs Damage along Sand Creek (north of Oelrichs) was reported as worst suffered to date by Elkhorn Railroad in the Black Hills area. Rapid City Journal (May 10, 1896).
June 1896 June 1896 -- -- -- -- X Battle Creek -- Keystone Localized flooding reported along Battle Creek in Keystone from heavy rain.   Rapid City Journal (June 6, 1896).
June 6, 1896 June 6, 1896 -- -- -- X X French Creek Various -- Rail line damaged south of Rapid City.  Worst damage near Fairburn. Rapid City Journal (June 7, 1896).
June 6, 1896 June 6, 1896 -- -- -- X X -- -- -- Another report provided of rail damage south of Rapid City from flood on June 6, 1896. Black Hills Press (June 9, 1896).
June 6, 1896 June 6, 1896 -- -- -- X X Spring Creek -- -- Irrigation dam damaged along Spring Creek. Rapid City Journal (June 9, 1896).
June 6, 1896 June 6, 1896 -- -- -- X X Middle Creek Various Belle Fourche Woman drowned in Middle Creek near Belle Fourche. Additional information provided on rail damage south of Rapid City.   Rapid City Journal (June 9, 1896).
June 6, 1896 June 8, 1896 -- -- -- X X Spring and Battle Creeks -- -- Bridges destroyed along Spring and Battle Creeks by continued rain and flooding. Rapid City Journal (June 9, 1896). Page 1; page 2.
June 6, 1896 June 6, 1896 -- -- -- X X Various -- -- Railroad washouts reported south of Rapid City (north and south of Cheyenne River). Rapid City Journal (June 11, 1896).
June 1896 June 1896 -- -- -- -- X Fall River -- Hot Springs Short account provided of several heavy storms and minor flooding in Hot Springs. Twomey and Magee (1983)
July 1896 July 1896 -- -- -- -- X -- -- -- Rail damage reported south of Rapid City. Rapid City Journal (July 9, 1896).
Sept. 12, 1896 Sept. 12, 1896 -- -- -- X -- Fall River -- Hot Springs Heavy rain and hail reported.  Flood damage was less extensive than from several previous floods. Hot Springs Weekly Star (April 18, 1946 reprint of Sept. 18, 1896 article).
Mar. 31, 1897 Mar. 31, 1897 -- -- -- X X Belle Fourche River -- Belle Fourche, Newcastle, Edgemont, Spearfish, Deadwood Belle Fourche River reported higher than ever before known.  Water backed up 10 miles from ice jam. Rapid City Journal (Apr. 1, 1897). Page 1; page 2.
June 1897 June 1897 -- -- -- -- X -- -- Belle Fourche Cloudburst at Belle Fourche caused problems for camped troops. Rapid City Journal (June 26, 1897).
June 1897 June 1897 -- -- -- -- X Dry Creek -- -- One person drowned along or near Dry Creek (location unknown). Rapid City Journal (June 26, 1897).
Aug. 6–7, 1897 Aug. 6–7, 1897 -- -- -- X -- Fall River -- Hot Springs Largest flood reported to date in Hot Springs history.  Most bridges on Fall River destroyed. Daily Independent-Deadwood (Aug. 7, 1897).
Aug. 6, 1897 Aug. 6–7, 1897 -- -- -- X -- Fall River -- Hot Springs Same flood as reported by Daily Independent (Aug. 7, 1897) above.  Reported  that "never in the history of Hot Springs have the ravages of high water been so serious as this year," with additional accounts provided that indicate that this flood probably was the most severe in many years. Hot Springs Weekly Star (April 18, 1946 reprint of Aug. 13, 1897 article). Page 1; page 2.
1897 1897 -- -- -- X -- Fall River -- Hot Springs Statue at Hygeia Springs was destroyed.  Same as reported by Daily Independent (Aug. 7, 1897) and Hot Springs Weekly Star (August 13, 1897) above. Twomey and Magee (1983)
May 29, 1898 May 30, 1898 -- -- -- -- X Battle Creek Grizzly Gulch -- Bridges along Battle Creek were washed out. Rapid City Journal (May 30, 1898). Page 1; page 2.
May 25, 1898 May 25, 1898 -- -- -- -- X Boxelder Creek -- -- Cloudburst and flooding reported along lower Boxelder Creek. Rapid City Journal (May 28, 1898).
May 19, 20, 1899 May 21, 1899 -- -- -- -- X Rapid Creek Various Rapid City Very wet conditions reported for Rapid City.  Some bridges were out to west and south. Rapid City Journal (May 21, 1899).
June 2, 1899 -- -- -- -- -- X -- -- Rapid City Heavy rains occurred in Rapid City.  Area trains were delayed. Rapid City Journal (June 3, 1899).
June 1, 1899 June 1–2, 1899 -- -- -- -- X Rapid Creek Spring Creek, many others -- Loss of cattle reported along lower Rapid Creek. Rapid City Journal (June 4, 1899).
June 2, 1899 June 2, 1899 -- -- -- -- X Rapid Creek -- Farmingdale House washed away along lower Rapid Creek. Rapid City Journal (June 10, 1899).

References

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2008, The Rapid City flood of 1972—historic Black Hills floods, accessed December 12, 2008, at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/unr/?n=history.

Twomey, K. and Magee, H., eds., and Mueller, D., and Petty, N., compilers, 1983, Early Hot Springs:  Hot Springs, S. Dak., Star Publishers, 117 p.


Some of the documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Acrobat Reader, free of charge.

 

USGS Home Water Climate Change Core Science Ecosystems Energy and Minerals Env. Health Hazards

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://sd.water.usgs.gov/projects/FloodHistory/1891-1900/FH1891.html
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 09-Jan-2013 11:01:45 EST