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The Black Hills (South Dakota) flood of June 1972: Impacts and implications

Posted date: May 07, 2015
Publication Year: 
1973
Authors: Orr, Howard K.
Publication Series: 
General Technical Report (GTR)
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-2. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 12 p.

Abstract

Rains of 12 inches or more in 6 hours fell on the east slopes of the Black Hills the night of June 9, 1972. Resulting flash floods exacted a disastrous toll in human life and property. Rainfall and discharge so greatly exceeded previous records that recurrence intervals have been presented in terms of multiples of the estimated 50- or 100- year event. Quick runoff was produced in the heaviest rainfall areas regardless of hydrologic condition. Flood sources included all major geologic and soil types and practically all land uses in the Black Hills. The highest measured peak runoff per unit area came from a 7-squaremile drainage, all on sedimentary formations, the upper portion of which burned over in 1936, but which is now well vegetated, apparently stable, and in good hydrologic condition. Greatest damage occurred where man-origin debris piled up against bridges, highways, homes, and other improvements.

Citation

Orr, Howard K. 1973. The Black Hills (South Dakota) flood of June 1972: Impacts and implications. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-2. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 12 p.