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South Dakota Water Science Center

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Media Advisory Address
1608 Mt. View Road   57702
Rapid City, SD  57702
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
June 7, 2002
Dave Ozman
Dan Fitzpatrick
650-355-4560 ext. 220

USGS and Mayor Munson to Unveil 1972 Flood High Water Marker in Rapid City

Rapid City Mayor Jerry Munson will join scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Water Resources Office in South Dakota at a ceremony to unveil a high water marker in downtown Rapid City. Positioned approximately 5 feet above street level at the corner of Omaha and 5th Streets, the commemorative high water marker will demonstrate the severity of the flood that hit Rapid City 30 years ago on June 9-10, 1972.

The USGS, which collects information at 20 flood-warning sites in the Black Hills Area and operates a network of about 155 stream-gaging stations throughout South Dakota, reports that nearly 15 inches of rain fell in about 6 hours near Nemo during the devastating flood of 1972. The flood left 238 people dead and more than 3,000 injured. Total damage was estimated in excess of $160 million.

In conjunction with the commemoration ceremony, the USGS is releasing a new fact sheet entitled The 1972 Black Hills-Rapid City Flood Revisited. The 6-page fact sheet, available to the public free of charge, provides citizens with an overview of the flood and discusses flood protection and warning measures that have been put in place. In addition, the USGS, in collaboration with the Rapid City-Pennington County Emergency Management Office and the National Weather Service, is operating an exhibit at the Rushmore Mall on June 8-9, to share information on the 1972 flood. For those unable to visit the exhibit, the USGS has developed a website which can be accessed at:

WHEN: Sunday, June 9, 2002, 1 p.m. (Event will immediately precede the 1972 Flood Memorial Walk)

WHERE: ConAgra Foods Mill (formerly Hubbard Mill), Omaha and 5th Streets, Rapid City

WHO: Speakers will include Rapid City Mayor Jerry Munson; Dan Fitzpatrick, District Chief of the USGS Water Resources Office in South Dakota; and Park Owens of the Rapid City-Pennington County Emergency Management Office.

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to: describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life

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