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Black Hills Area Flooding - 1991 to 2000

Widespread wet conditions prevailed throughout much of the Black Hills area for several years during the 1990s with sustained high flows occurring in many area streams (Driscoll and Carter, 2001).  Most of the flooding during the 1990s generally was not severe, however.  A peak of record flow of 8,270 ft3/s occurred along Horsehead Creek (station 06400875) during 1991, prior to the onset of the especially wet conditions.  Relatively large precipitation totals were recorded for many stations in May, and heavy rains caused relatively large flows during May 8–9, 1995, for many stream in the northern Black Hills (table Biggest Peaks).  Peaks of record flow were recorded at four stations along Whitewood Creek and relatively large peak flows occurred along Whitewood Creek during several other years within the 1990s. 

On June 14, 1996, a peak flow of 16,900 ft3/s was recorded along Alkali Creek east of Sturgis.  A smaller peak flow of 6,910 ft3/s was recorded on May 30, 1996, for station 06408500 along Spring Creek; however, the only larger flow recorded for this station occurred June 10, 1972 (13,400 ft3/s).


[All locations in South Dakota unless otherwise specified. Relative magnitude of event: 1, extreme; 2, severe; 3, moderate; 4, minor; 5, very minor; ft3/s, cubic feet per second. USGS, U.S. Geological Survey; --, 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
1991 1991 -- -- -- -- X -- -- Keystone Minor flooding of roads reported. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2008)
May–Aug.1993 May–Aug.1993 -- -- -- -- X Battle Creek -- Keystone Minor flooding for three separate dates reported. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2008)
May 7–9, 1995 May 7–9, 1995 -- -- -- -- X -- -- Hill City , Rapid City Flooding and damage of roads reported. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2008).
-- May 8–9, 1995 -- -- -- X X Various -- -- Relatively small peak flows reported for several streams in southern Black Hills, including French, Battle, Grace Goolidge, and Spring Creeks.  Larger peak flows reported for many streams in northern Black Hills, including Redwater River and Spearfish, Hay, Whitewood, and Bear Butte Creeks.  Peaks of record were established on May 8, 1995, at four stations along Whitewood Creek. U.S. Geological Survey (2009)
May 30, 1996 May 30, 1996 -- -- X X -- Spring Creek -- -- Severe storm documented along Spring Creek south of Rapid City.   National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2008).
May 30, 1996 May 30, 1996 -- -- X X -- Spring Creek -- -- Peak flow of 6,910 ft3/s occurred on May 30, 1996, at station 06408500 (Spring Creek near Hermosa); second only to 1972 peak flow of 13,400 ft3/s. U.S. Geological Survey (2009)
June 14, 1996 June 14, 1996 -- -- X X -- Alkali Creek -- -- Various damage reported from severe storm along Alkali Creek of Sturgis.   National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2008).
June 14, 1996 June 14, 1996 -- -- X X -- Alkali Creek -- -- Peak flow of 16,900 ft3/s occurred on June 14, 1996, at station 442205103073200 along Alkali Creek. U.S. Geological Survey (2009)
May 24, 1997 May 24, 1997 -- -- -- -- X Rapid Creek -- -- Minor flooding reported along Rapid Creek and tributaries from 4 to 5 inches of rain. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2008).
June 2, 1997 June 2, 1997 -- -- -- X X Rapid Creek -- -- Flooding along Rapid Creek and tributaries from as much as 4.5 inches of rain in 30 minutes. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2008)
June 14, 1997 -- -- -- -- X X -- -- East of Sturgis No information is available regarding magnitudes of any associated peak flows. Radar image from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
June 23–24, 1998 -- -- -- -- X X -- -- East of Sturgis No information is available regarding magnitudes of any associated peak flows. Radar image from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
June 18, 1999 June 18, 1999 -- -- -- X X Battle Creek -- Keystone Damage from heavy rains along Battle Creek reported.   National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2008) and radar image.
June 18, 1999 June 18, 1999 -- -- -- X X Battle Creek -- -- Peak flow of 2,000 ft3/s occurred on June 18, 1999, at station 06404000 (Battle Creek near Keystone); second only to 1972 peak flow of 26,200 ft3/s. U.S. Geological Survey (2009)
Aug. 7, 1999 -- -- -- -- X X -- -- Northwest of Custer No information is available regarding magnitudes of any associated peak flows. Radar image from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 




References

Driscoll, D.G., and Carter, J.M., 2001, Hydrologic conditions and budgets for the Black Hills of South Dakota, through water year 1998: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 01–4226, 143 p.

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.

U.S. Geological Survey, 2009, National Water Information System (NWISWeb)—Peak streamflow for South Dakota: U.S. Geological Survey database, http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/sd/nwis/peak.


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