1972 flood storyboard unveiled at The Monument

A storyboard commemorating the 1972 Black Hills Flood was unveiled on Thursday at The Monument in Rapid City. The storyboard wall is located in the hallway between the Don Barnett Fieldhouse and the Summit Arena.

Craig Baltzer, executive director of The Monument, said the location was chosen due to its symbolic nature.

“This space that you’re in is called the connector. It literally connects the old and the new,” Baltzer said.

Summit Arena construction concluded last year, and the Don Barnett Fieldhouse opened in 1977.

The storyboard wall is framed by three multi-colored, tiled pillars. 238 yellow tiles represent the 238 people who died in the flood, each green tile represents two of the 1,335 homes that were damaged or lost, and blue tiles represent the 200 commercial structures damaged or lost along Rapid Creek. One side of the wall features a LED light strip to show how high the water rose during the flood.

A large darkened photo of flood damage acts as the background for photos framed in plexiglass showing what various areas looked like during the flood and what they look like now. Visitors can also see a printed timeline of the flood and watch a television screen play through slides going through the timeline.

A map leading into the hallway showed the old neighborhoods the flood decimated before they were turned into greenway for the city.

Darrell Shoemaker, communications coordinator for the city of Rapid City, made opening remarks at the unveiling on Thursday.