RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The Journey Museum and Learning Center kicked off their Summer Series presentations this evening with today's event taking a look at the Flood of 1972.
KOTA TV's Chief Meteorologist Mike Modrick gives a presentation at the Journey Museum about the devastation of the flood of 1972.
First they talked about the timeline that led up the catastrophic event where 250 million pounds of rain fell over the Black Hills and 238 people lost their lives.
The main portion of the event involved our very own Chief Meteorologist Mike Modrick who gave a presentation about the challenges local media face keeping the public informed in times of crisis. He talked about how then local KOTA Territory News anchor and reporter Robb DeWall and what he did to keep the public informed once the flood hit.
"Everything would of broke loose between the 5:30 news, the end of it, and the 10 o'clock news," said Modrick. "It would of been a slow to evolve news situation for Robb DeWall and then that man, when the power went out and TV and radio could no longer broadcast, Robb went to the county courthouse building and broadcasted on the emergency broadcast system for 13 hours straight."
Modrick also talked about what changes were recommended and adopted for Rapid City moving forward after this event.
"We needed a really good river gauge sensing network along Rapid Creek, which we have now," said Modrick. "It's electronic and it measures the amounts of rainfall that are occurring, it measures the height of Rapid Creek, so we have a really good system in place now. There weren't a lot of meteorologists out here, even in the government in 1972. Well now we have a National Weather Forecast Office, TV stations have their own meteorologists, so they're people who understand the warnings and people who are meteorologists who can convey those warning and the information to people in an easy to understand way."
The next Summer Series presentation at the Journey Museum and Learning Center will be Friday, June 14, at 5 p.m. This event will focus on the Chapel in the Hills as they celebrate 50 years of ministry in the Black Hills.