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Black Hills Area Floods - 1911 to 1920

Several reports of flooding are available for the years 1911–13; however, most of the news accounts are for high water along the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers.  Both 1915 and 1920 were exceptional in terms of prolonged wet conditions with widespread flooding.  The southern part of the Black Hills was especially wet during May and June 1915, with numerous reports of flooding that ranged from localized flooding to widespread flooding and included many accounts of the worst flooding in many years for many locations.  A June 17, 1915, article in the Oelrichs Advocate provided a noteworthy account for Horsehead Creek of the worst known flooding to date, which surpassed the previous known flood of record that had occurred 23 years previously.  A June 19, 1915, article in the Buffalo Gap Gazette reported that the same storm had caused flooding that also surpassed a previous high-water mark for Beaver Creek near Buffalo Gap before tracking towards Horsehead Creek.  Numerous news articles provided continuing accounts of heavy storms through August 1915, with most reports for the southern Black Hills.

The year 1920 may very well constitute the most extensive and widespread flood conditions that have occurred since European settlement in western South Dakota and the Black Hills area.  Flooding conditions occurred in early spring of 1920 for both the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers and for several tributaries in the Black Hills area.  Miller (1986) noted that a 24-hour rainfall total of 7.1 inches for Custer on April 7, 1920, shared a regional record with Ft. Meade for June 13, 1907.  Substantial flooding occurred along Rapid Creek on May 10–12.  A peak flow of 114,000 cubic feet per second (ft3/s) was recorded on May 12, 1920, at station 06400500 (Cheyenne River near Hot Springs), which is the largest peak flow ever recorded anywhere along the Cheyenne River.  A record stage of 18.9 feet also is documented for the next day (May 13) at station 06439500, which is located on the Cheyenne River about 75 miles downstream from the confluence of the Belle Fourche River.  The stage for this station was determined from information provided by local residents and probably represents the largest documented flood for the station; however, the magnitude of the peak flow is not known.  The worst known flooding in the history of Hat Creek in the southern Black Hills claimed seven lives on May 12, 1920.  The northern Black Hills also had substantial flooding in 1920, as evidenced by a May 15 article in the Rapid City Journal reporting that “Newell suffered the heaviest rainfall ever known” and that flooding had occurred for the third time of the season in Belle Fourche.  A June 4, 1920, article in the White Owl Oracle reported that Boxelder Creek "was fully four feet higher than ever known before" and "was over three miles wide."  A sense of the widespread nature of the 1920 flooding was provided by a May 29, 1920, article in the Oelrichs Advocate that reported severe railroad damage along the Bad and White Rivers.


The Fall River in Hot Springs in July 1918. Photograph courtesy of Fall River County Historical Society (used with permission).
The Fall River in Hot Springs in July 1918. Photograph courtesy of Fall River County Historical Society (used with permission).
Hot Springs flooded on July 16, 1918 when Fall River overtopped its banks. Photograph courtesty of Fall River County Historical Society (used with permission).
Hot Springs flooded on July 16, 1918 when Fall River overtopped its banks. Photograph courtesty of Fall River County Historical Society (used with permission).
A peak flow of 114,000 cubic feet per second was measured at station 06400500 (Cheyenne River near Hot Springs) on May 12, 1920. Photograph courtesy of Fall River County Historical Society (used with permission).
A peak flow of 114,000 cubic feet per second was measured at station 06400500 (Cheyenne River near Hot Springs) on May 12, 1920. Photograph courtesy of Fall River County Historical Society (used with permission).

This bridge was damaged near Hot Springs after the May 1920 flood on the Belle Fourche River. Photograph courtesy of Fall River County Historical Society (used with permission).
This bridge was damaged near Hot Springs after the May 1920 flood on the Cheyenne River. Photograph courtesy of Fall River County Historical Society (used with permission).
Photograph of the Cheyenne River near Hot Springs three days after the May 12, 1920, flood. Photograph courtesy of Fall River County Historical Society (used with permission).
Photograph of the Cheyenne River near Hot Springs three days after the May 12, 1920, flood. Photograph courtesy of Fall River County Historical Society (used with permission).

flood iconPhotos of floods in the Black Hills area during 1911-1920



[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
June 1911 June 1911 -- -- -- -- X Cheyenne River -- Wasta, Owanka Moderately high flow in Cheyenne River reported from general rains. Wasta Gazette (June 23, 1911).
June 1911 June 1911 -- -- -- -- X Boxelder Creek -- Owanka, Wasta Minor damage reported along Boxelder Creek. Wasta Gazette (June 30, 1911).
Aug. 5–6, 1911 Aug. 6, 1911 -- -- -- X -- Cheyenne River (?) -- Edgemont Cheyenne (?) River thought to be highest within memory of oldest inhabitants (as of date of article). Edgemont Express (Aug. 11, 1911).
Aug. 5–6, 1911 Aug. 6–7, 1911 -- -- -- -- X Cheyenne River -- Wasta Heavy rain reported.  Cheyenne River rose to high water mark for the year. Wasta Gazette (Aug. 11, 1911).
Sept. 5,6, 1911 Sept. 1911 -- -- -- -- X Hawk Canyon Cheyenne River Wasta Heavy rain and high water reported, with some rail damage. Wasta Gazette (Sept. 8, 1911). Page 1; page 2.
-- Apr. 1912 -- -- X -- -- Belle Fourche River -- Belle Fourche Reported as highest stage for Belle Fourche River in 20 years. Belle Fourche Bee (Apr. 11, 1912).
-- Apr. 1912 -- -- X -- -- Belle Fourche River Various Belle Fourche Belle Fourche River peaked on Monday, April 11, 1912.  Same flood as reported by Belle Fourche Bee (April 11, 1912).  Many additional details provided. Northwest Post - Belle Fourche (Apr. 11, 1912). Page 1; page 2; page 3.
Apr. 13–14, 1912 Apr. 1912 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Newell, Vale, and Nisland Heavy snow and some rain reported.  Belle Fourche Dam reported as endangered. Black Hills Press (Apr. 17, 1912). Page 1; page 2.
July 4, 1912 July 4, 1912 -- -- -- X -- Rapid Creek -- Rapid City Localized flooding reported for Rapid City.  Rise of 15 feet reported in Dark Canyon. Rapid City Journal (July 6, 1912). Page 1; page 2.
Aug. 17, 1912 Aug. 17, 1912 -- -- -- -- X Spearfish Creek -- Spearfish area Heavy rain in Spearfish Canyon, with some damage reported. Deadwood Telegram (Aug. 17, 1912).
Aug. 18, 1912 Aug. 18, 1912 -- -- -- -- X Whitewood Creek -- Sturgis area Heavy rain in Sturgis area with some rail damage reported.  Whitewood Creek was out of banks. Deadwood Telegram (Aug. 19, 1912).
Aug. 17–18, 1912 Aug. 18, 1912 -- -- -- X X Spring Creek Bear Butte Creek Vale Widespread hail with flood damage in some locations reported. Black Hills Press (Aug. 21, 1912). Page 1; page 2; page 3.
Aug. 30, 1912 Aug. 30, 1912 -- -- -- -- X -- -- Sturgis Heavy rains and some rail damage in Sturgis area reported. Wasta Gazette (Aug. 30, 1912).
-- Mar.–Apr. 1913 -- -- -- -- X Belle Fourche River Redwater River Belle Fourche Lowland flooding reported from ice jam at diversion dam for canal to Belle Fourche Reservoir. Northwest Post - Belle Fourche (Apr. 3, 1913). Page 1; page 2.
Aug. 7–8, 1913 Aug. 8, 1913 -- -- -- -- X Cheyenne River -- -- High water from general rains reported. Wasta Gazette (Aug. 15, 1913).
Apr.–May 1915 Apr.–May 1915 -- -- -- -- X Horsehead and Lone Well Creeks -- -- High water occurred from general rains with 7.2 inches of rain reported since April, plus heavy prior snow. Oelrichs Advocate (May 6, 1915).
May 1915 May 1915 -- -- -- -- X Cheyenne River -- -- General rains occurred.  Cheyenne River reported as highest in at least 8 years, perhaps 15 years. Wasta Gazette (May 15, 1915).
May 1915 May 1915 -- -- -- X -- Cheyenne River Fall River Hot Springs Widespread rail damage reported.  Cheyenne River reported as highest in 30 years. Hot Springs Star (May 18, 1915).
May 25, 1915 May 25, 1915 -- -- -- -- X Horsehead and Lonewell Creeks -- Oelrichs High water from general rains reported. Oelrichs Advocate (May 27, 1915).
May 25, 1915 May 25, 1915 -- -- -- -- X -- -- Fairburn Rail damaged from heavy storm. Custer Chronicle (May 29, 1915).
May 25, 1915 May 25, 1915 -- -- -- -- X French Creek  Beaver Creek, Cheyenne River -- Rail damaged along French Creek.  Rapid rises reported for other streams. Buffalo Gap Gazette (May 29, 1915).
May 1915 May 26, 1915 -- -- -- -- X Unknown -- Climax, Grindstone Three drowned in flooding at Climax from heavy storm. Buffalo Gap Gazette (June 5, 1915).
June 1915 June 1915 -- -- X X X Various, Fall River -- Various, Hot Springs Widespread rail damage reported throughout southern Black Hills and beyond.  Severe flood occurred in Hot Springs. Deadwood Telegram (June 12, 1915).
June 11, 1915 June 11, 1915 -- -- X -- -- Fall River -- Hot Springs Severe flood occurred in Hot Springs. Deadwood Daily Pioneer Times (June 12, 1915). Page 1; page 2.
June 11, 1915 June 11, 1915 -- -- X X X Fall River Horsehead Creek Hot Springs Widespread rain, flooding, and rail damage reported.  Severe flood occurred in Hot Springs. Rapid City Journal (June 13, 1915).
June 1915 June 12, 1915 -- X -- -- -- Cheyenne River -- -- Peak flow of 39,200 ft3/s occurred on June 12, 1915, during first year of USGS data collection at station 06400500 (Cheyenne River near Hot Springs). U.S. Geological Survey (2009). 
May–June 1915 May–June 1915 -- -- X X X Cheyenne River -- -- Detailed report of streamflow conditions at USGS station 06400500 (Cheyenne River near Hot Springs).  Flow peaked at 39,200 ft3/s on June 12, 1915. Hot Springs Star (June 14, 1915). Page 1; page 2.
June 1915 June 1915 -- -- -- X -- Fall River -- Oelrichs Bridges destroyed during flooding.  Reported as worst flood to date in Hot Springs. Twomey and Magee (1983). 
June 11, 1915 June 11–12, 1915 -- -- X -- -- Horsehead Creek All streams in area high Fall River County Four inches of rain during saturated conditions caused "biggest flood in this country within the memory of the white man."  Surpassed previous worst flooding that occurred 23 years prior, to the day (June 11 or 12, 1892). Oelrichs Advocate (June 17, 1915). Page 1; page 2.
June 1915 June 1915 -- -- -- X X -- -- -- Northern Black Hills was isolated for 6 days due to extensive rail damage. Black Hills Press (June 17, 1915).
June 12, 1915 June 12, 1915 -- -- X -- -- Cheyenne River -- Wasta Cheyenne River reported as highest for the year and for some unknown number of previous years. Wasta Gazette (June 18, 1915).
June 1915 June 1915 -- -- -- -- X Sulphur Creek -- White Owl Sulphur Creek reported as highest in 6 years. White Owl Oracle (June 18, 1915).
June 1915 June 1915 -- -- -- X -- Fall River All streams in area high Hot Springs High water reported throughout southwestern South Dakota.  Severe flood occurred in Hot Springs. Custer Chronicle (June 19, 1915).
June 1915 June 1915 -- -- -- X -- Beaver Creek -- Buffalo Gap Crop damage and other damage reported along Beaver Creek. Buffalo Gap Gazette (June 19, 1915).
June 11, 1915 June 11–12, 1915 -- -- X -- -- Beaver Creek Various Buffalo Gap Beaver Creek exceeded previous high water mark of several years ago.  Horsehead Creek reported as highest in years.  Cheyenne River exceeded all previous high water marks. Buffalo Gap Gazette (June 19, 1915).
June 11–12, 1915 June 1915 -- -- -- -- X -- -- Custer Widespread flooding reported between Custer and Hot Springs. Custer Chronicle (June 19, 1915).
June 1915 June 1915 -- -- -- -- -- Horsehead Creek -- Oelrichs Streams reported as receding.  Brief report provided on aftermath. Oelrichs Advocate (June 24, 1915).
June 1915 June 1915 -- -- X -- -- Belle Fourche River Cheyenne River -- Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers reported as remaining very high. White Owl Oracle (June 25, 1915).
July 15–20, 1915 July 1915 -- -- X X -- Red Owl and Sulphur Creeks Many in Meade County Faith, Dupree All streams in eastern Meade County reported as very high from four heavy rains during previous week. White Owl Oracle (July 23, 1915).
July 15–20, 1915 July 1915 -- -- X X -- -- -- Faith Severe rail damage reported for east of Faith from flooding. White Owl Oracle (July 30, 1915).
July–Aug. 1915 July–Aug. 1915 -- -- -- -- X Horsehead Creek Cheyenne River Oelrichs Very wet conditions reported for time of year.  Some crops damaged, harvest slowed.  Horsehead Creek reported as high again. Oelrichs Advocate (Aug. 5, 1915). Page 1; page 2.
Aug. 1915 Aug. 1915 -- -- X -- -- Bad River Cheyenne River Midland, Ft. Pierre Extensive rail damage reported along the Bad River and other places.  Cheyenne River reported as remaining high. White Owl Oracle (Aug. 13, 1915).
Aug. 9–10, 1915 Aug. 9–10, 1915 -- -- -- -- X -- -- Custer, Pringle Bridges washed out on wagon road between Custer and Pringle.  Rail damage reported near Custer. Edgemont Express (Aug. 13, 1915).
Aug. 1915 Aug. 1915 -- -- -- -- X Beaver Creek -- Buffalo Gap Heavy rains west of Buffalo Gap reported to have kept Beaver Creek at flood stage. Buffalo Gap Gazette (Aug. 14, 1915).
Aug. 1915 Aug. 1915 -- -- -- -- X Beaver Creek -- Hot Springs Continued flooding reported along Beaver Creek.  Many area bridges have been washed out. Custer Chronicle (Aug. 15, 1915).
Aug. 17, 1915 Aug. 17, 1915 -- -- -- -- X False Bottom Creek Polo Creek St. Onge Heavy rainfall reported.  Rail damaged near St. Onge. Deadwood Pioneer Times (Aug. 18, 1915).
Aug. 1915 Aug. 1915 -- -- -- -- X French Creek -- -- Damage reported to ranch along French Creek near mouth of Cheyenne River. Buffalo Gap Gazette (Aug. 21, 1915).
Aug. 16 and 18, 1915 Aug. 18–19, 1915 -- -- -- X -- Beaver Creek -- Buffalo Gap Rain total of 3.5 inches in 1.5 hours in Buffalo Gap.  Beaver Creek reported to be nearly as high as record peak flow during spring.  Rail damaged in Hot Springs. Buffalo Gap Gazette (Aug. 21, 1915). Page 1; page 2.
Aug. 18, 1915 Aug. 18, 1915 -- -- -- -- X French Creek -- Custer Heavy rain reported west of Custer, with three bridges washed out along French Creek. Custer Chronicle (Aug. 21, 1915).
Sept.–Oct. 1915 Sept.–Oct. 1915 -- -- -- -- X Cheyenne River -- Edgemont Train delayed from damaged grade caused by rise of 8 feet in Cheyenne River. Custer Chronicle (Oct. 2, 1915).
July 27–28, 1916 July 27–28, 1916 -- -- -- X -- Bear Butte Creek -- Sturgis Reported as one of heaviest rains and highest water in Sturgis in 30 years. Black Hills Press (Aug. 3, 1916).
June 22, 1918 June 22, 1918 -- -- -- X X Beaver Creek -- Buffalo Gap Crops, bridges, and roads damaged. Buffalo Gap Gazette (June 28, 1918). Page 1; page 2.
July 11–15, 1918 July 1918 -- -- -- -- X Fall River Lone Well and Horsehead Creeks Hot Springs Heavy rains reported in many parts of Fall River County with some damage reported. Oelrichs Advocate (July 18, 1918).
July 13, 1918 July 13–14, 1918 -- -- -- -- X Fall River Beaver Creek Hot Springs Moderate damage reported along Fall River. Buffalo Gap Gazette (July 19, 1918).
-- Aug. 8, 1918 -- -- -- -- X Fall River -- Hot Springs Photographs show minor flooding of Hot Springs. Photographs by Fall River County Historical Society
Mar., 1920 Mar., 1920 -- -- -- X -- Sulphur Creek Many Many Sulphur Creek reported as highest ever as of date of article (1920).  Many bridges washed out throughout widespread area. White Owl Oracle (Mar. 26, 1920).
Mar., 1920 Mar., 1920 -- -- X X -- Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers Various Various Some streams reported as dropping.  Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers reported as highest ever as of date of article (1920).  Much damage reported across widespread areas. White Owl Oracle (Apr. 2, 1920).
Mar., 1920 Mar., 1920 -- -- X X -- Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers Elk Creek Rapid City Widespread flooding reported. Wasta Gazette (Apr. 2, 1920).
Apr. 7, 1920 1920 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Custer Miller (1986) reported a record 24-hour rainfall total of 7.1 inches for Custer. Miller (1986)
May 10–12, 1920 May 11–12, 1920 -- -- X -- -- Rapid Creek -- Rapid City Peak flow of 8,000 ft3/s occurred on May 11-12, 1920, in Rapid Creek. Miller (1986)
May 10–12, 1920 May 11–12, 1920 -- -- X -- -- Rapid Creek -- Rapid City Rain (4.75 inches over 3 days) on melting snow reported.  Eight deaths reported.  All private and county bridges on Rapid Creek destroyed, and 20 rail bridges damaged or destroyed. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2008)
May 1920 May 10, 1920 -- -- X X -- Medicine Creek -- Blunt Reported as largest known flood along Medicine Creek east of Pierre as of date of article (1920).  Very severe rail damage reported, with service expected to be out for 3 weeks. Rapid City Journal (May 11, 1920). Page 1; page 2.
May 10–11, 1920 May 10–11, 1920 -- -- X -- -- Rapid Creek Various Rapid City Rapid City inundated from very heavy storm and flooding.  Widespread rail damage reported and virtually all train service disrupted or halted throughout a very large area.  Rail line was under 5 feet of water near Hill City. Deadwood Telegram (May 11, 1920).
May 11–12, 1920 May 11–12, 1920 -- -- X X -- Many in Black Hills Many Many Severe damage reported to rail lines throughout large area, with rain and snow continuing to exacerbate conditions. Deadwood Telegram (May 12, 1920). Page 1; page 2.
May 11, 1920 May 11–12, 1920 -- -- X -- -- Rapid, Boxelder, Spring, and Medicine Creeks All streams in Black Hills Rapid City, New Underwood, Box Elder, many others Lengthy and detailed description of severe damage throughout widespread areas provided.  Fifty families dislodged from low-lying area north of Rapid Creek. Rapid City Journal (May 12, 1920). Page 1; page 2; page 3; page 4; page 5.
May 11, 1920 May 11–12, 1920 -- -- -- -- -- Rapid Creek -- Rapid City Various details provided regarding flooding along Rapid Creek. Johnson (1949). 
May 1920 May 12, 1920 X -- -- -- -- Cheyenne River -- -- Peak flow of 114,000 ft3/s on May 12, 1920, at station 06400500 (Cheyenne River near Hot Springs).  This peak flow is almost three times larger than the peak flow of June 12, 1915, and the most extraordinary peak flow ever recorded (relative to drainage area) along the Cheyenne River, through the current (2010) date. U.S. Geological Survey (2009). 
May 9–12, 1920 May 11–12, 1920 -- -- -- X -- Belle Fourche and Redwater Rivers Hay Creek Belle Fourche, Nisland Very heavy rain reported in Belle Fourche area.  Area streams were out of banks. Northwest Post - Belle Fourche (May 13, 1920).
May 11–12, 1920 May 11–12, 1920 -- -- X -- -- Cheyenne River Rapid Creek Rapid City, Oral Rail damage throughout area reported to be enormous. Rapid City Journal (May 13, 1920). Page 1; page 2.
May 10–13, 1920 May 1920 X X X X -- Cheyenne River Fall River Rapid City Heavy rain following heavy April snow reported.  Cheyenne River reported as highest ever as of date of article (1920).  Rapid City flooded from the May 10, 1920, storm. Hot Springs Star (May 13, 1920). Page 1; page 2.
May 10–13, 1920 May 11, 1920 X X X X -- Horsehead Creek, Cheyenne River Lone Well Creek Oelrichs Horsehead Creek reported as highest since 1915, which was second to only one previous flood.  Note:  previous Oelrichs Advocate article of June 17, 1915, reported 1915 as the largest known flood. Oelrichs Advocate (May 13, 1920). Page 1; page 2.
May 8, 1920 May 8, 1920 -- -- -- X -- Deadman's Draw, Bear Butte Creek Alkali Creek, others Sturgis Heavy storm reported for Sturgis on May 9, 1920.  Reported as wettest in 30 years by locals.  Damage in Sturgis area was less severe than elsewhere.  Article includes excerpts from Rapid City Journal article of May 12, 1920. Black Hills Press (May 13, 1920). Page 1; page 2; page 3; page 4.
May 11–12, 1920 May 11–12, 1920 -- -- X -- -- Rapid Creek -- Rapid City A short excerpt from Rapid City Journal article of  May 12, 1920, is provided. Deadwood Telegram (May 3, 1920).
May 1920 May 1920 -- -- X X -- Cheyenne and Belle Fourche Rivers Sulphur Creek -- Sulphur Creek could not be crossed.  Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers reported as higher than ever before known. White Owl Oracle (May 14, 1920).
-- May 13, 1920 -- X X X -- Cheyenne River -- -- Record stage of 18.9 feet on May 13, 1920, at station 06439500 (Cheyenne River near Eagle Butte). U.S. Geological Survey (2009). 
May 1920 May 12–13, 1920 -- -- X -- -- Rapid Creek Whitewood Creek Rapid City  Rapid Creek reported as rising.  A short account of 1883 flooding also is provided, with a notation that this is the largest known flooding for Deadwood, prior to or since then. Black Hills Weekly Journal (May 14, 1920).
May 11–12, 1920 May 11–12, 1920 -- X -- -- -- Hat Creek -- Ardmore, Bunker Hill Worst known flood for Hat Creek occurred as of date of article (1920); creek reported as 4 feet higher than 1915.  Seven deaths reported in Bunker Hill. Ardmore American (May 14, 1920). Page 1; page 2; page 3.
May 10–13, 1920 May 13, 1920 X -- -- -- -- Cheyenne River Many -- Reported as highest known flood stage for Cheyenne River as of date of article (1920). Buffalo Gap Gazette (May 14, 1920). Page 1; page 2.
May 1920 May 1920 X X X -- -- Cheyenne River -- Ardmore Extensive rail damage reported.  Brief report of flood deaths near Ardmore provided. Rapid City Journal (May 14, 1920). Page 1; page 2.
May 1920 May 11–12, 1920 -- -- X -- -- Hat Creek Cottonwood Creek, Cheyenne River Ardmore Article reported deaths near Ardmore involving 7-foot "body of water" on top of previous flood conditions.  Conflicting reports provided on flood stages for Cheyenne River and Cottonwood Creek, relative to prior years.  Old timers declared that water is highest in "their remembrance." Edgemont Express (May 14, 1920). Page 1; page 2.
May 1920 May 1920 -- X X X -- Cheyenne River, Rapid Creek Various Rapid City Recap of flood damage reported by several previous articles was provided. Black Hills Weekly Journal (May 14, 1920). Page 1; page 2.
May 1920 May 1920 -- X X X -- Many -- Many Article is primarily a report from travelers and other people in dealing with flood circumstances.  Reported that "Newell suffered the heaviest rainfall ever known." Rapid City Journal (May 15, 1920). Page 1; page 2; page 3.
May 1920 May 1920 -- -- X -- -- Cheyenne River White River -- Report from traveler of flood damage south of Rapid City and along the White River provided. Rapid City Journal (May 16, 1920).
May 1920 May 1920 -- -- -- -- X -- -- Sturgis Damage reported to Sturgis area cemeteries due to rain. Black Hills Press (May 20, 1920).
May 1920 May 1920 -- -- X X -- Horsehead and Hat Creeks -- -- Horsehead and Hat Creeks reported as very high.  Debris carried across Cheyenne River by Hat Creek. Hot Springs Star (May 20, 1920).
May 1920 May 1920 -- -- -- -- X -- -- -- Short report of damage to a ranch house provided. Buffalo Gap Gazette (May 21, 1920).
May 24, 1920 May 1920 -- -- -- -- X Lame Johnny and Beaver Creeks -- -- Lame Johnny Creek reported as "highest flood stage in years." Buffalo Gap Gazette (May 26, 1920).
May 1920 May 1920 -- X X X -- Various Various -- Many bridges destroyed on Bad and White Rivers.  Hat Creek had "30 feet of raging water." Oelrichs Advocate (May 29, 1920). Page 1; page 2.
-- May 1920 -- X X -- -- Cheyenne River -- -- Record flows reported all along the Cheyenne River. Buffalo Gazette (June 4, 1920).
-- May 1920 -- -- X X -- Boxelder Creek -- -- Boxelder Creek reported as "fully 4 feet higher than ever known before" and "over 3 miles wide." White Owl Oracle (June 4, 1920).
-- May–June 1920 -- X X -- -- Cheyenne River -- -- Reported that "all high water marks were broken" along the Cheyenne River. Wasta Gazette (June 11, 1920).
-- June 1920 -- -- X X -- Cheyenne and Belle Fourche Rivers -- -- Events and damage reported along the Cheyenne and Belle Fourche Rivers. White Owl Oracle (June 20, 1920).
June 25, 1920 June 25, 1920 -- -- -- -- X Cold Springs Creek -- Pringle Minor damage reported along Cold Springs Creek. Custer Chronicle (June 26, 1920).
June 28, 1920 -- -- -- -- -- X New Underwood -- Wasta Heavy rain and hail reported near New Underwood. Wasta Gazette (July 2, 1920).
June 1920 June 1920 -- -- -- -- X Johnny and Brushie Creeks -- -- Bridge repairs reported along Johnny and Brushie Creeks. White Owl Oracle (July 2, 1920).
Aug. 28, 1920 Aug. 28, 1920 -- -- -- -- X Beaver and Cold Springs Creeks -- -- Damage reported to roads and fences along Beaver and Cold Springs Creeks. Custer Chronicle (Sept. 4, 1920).

 



References

Johnson, H.N., 1949, A climatological survey of the Black Hills: Rapid City, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Black Hills Engineer, v. 29, no. 1, p. 3-35.

Miller, J.R., 1986, Rapid City climate: Rapid City, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Foundation, 66 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.

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.

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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