Black Hills Area Floods - 1951 to 1960

Science Center Objects

Black Hills Area Floods - 1951 to 1960

Look under the Multimedia table for pictures and more information regarding the event date and location, flow data (if available), a brief summary of the event, and links to available photographs or scanned newspaper articles.

High flows occurred along Rapid Creek and many other streams throughout much of the Black Hills area during late May 1952.  A peak flow of 2,540 cubic feet per second ft3/s occurred on May 23 on Rapid Creek at station 06414000 in Rapid City and a peak flow of 1,770 ft3/s occurred on May 24 at station 06421500 at Farmingdale, east of Rapid City.  Aerial photographs taken on May 23 show flooding for a reach of Rapid Creek in and east of Rapid City.  A relatively large peak of 24,700 ft3/s occurred on May 22 at station 06423500 along the Cheyenne River near Wasta, indicating widespread high water throughout the southern Black Hills area during May 1952.

A peak flow of 9,430 ft3/s occurred on May 23, 1954, at station 06400000 along Hat Creek near Edgemont.  The 1954 peak flow for this station is second only to a peak of 13,300 ft3/s on June 16, 1967. A heavy storm near Rochford on July 28, 1955, caused flooding along Castle Creek.



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

U.S. Geological Survey, 2009, National Water Information System (NWISWeb)—Peak streamflow for South Dakota: U.S. Geological Survey database,

Wells, J.V.B., 1962, Floods of 1955: U.S. Geological Survey Water Supply Paper 1455, 74 p., accessed January 6, 2009, at