"Black Hills Flood - Remembrance & Renewal" will be the theme for this summer's commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Flood.
The theme, which was submitted by Ed Hubin of Rapid City, received the most votes out of five finalists in the contest, which was sponsored by the 40th Anniversary Flood Committee and the Rapid City Journal. More than 50 entries were submitted and more than 80 people voted in the final round.
The 1972 flood struck the night of June 9, ultimately taking the lives of 238 people and reshaping the direction of the community. Commemoration events are scheduled for June 8-10.
Hubin, a retired federal government employee, said his goal was to create a phrase that was easy to recognize and to remember.
"It was important to look back, and it was important to look forward," Hubin said. "Renewal is an ongoing idea - we'll never stop renewing from that disaster."
Jim Kuehn, chairman of the theme committee, said the group also is pleased with the winner and the number of people who have already started thinking about the flood anniversary.
"We hope they view this as a four-county flood area and not just the Rapid City flood," Kuehn said. "This selected theme covers everything geographically."
Hubin's own flood story actually takes place outside of Rapid City limits - at the homes of his wife's family on Thunderhead Falls Road.
Hubin and his wife, Phyllis, were living in Boulder, Colo. at the time, and Hubin was at a church campout.
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While he was gone, Phyllis heard over the radio that simply "the dam" had broken in Rapid City. Panicked, she got a hold of Ed, who then called a colleague with a short-wave radio to see if he could find out what had happened.
"If it had been Pactola, we would have assumed her family was gone," Ed Hubin said. "We were very concerned."
They had no way to get in touch with her family, so they packed up their car with food, clothes and other supplies and hit the road. They drove through the night, arriving early on the morning of June 11, unsure of what they would find.
"We were fearful we would find them all dead," Ed Hubin said. "We had hope because Pactola was still there."
After parking the car at the washed-out bridge, they hiked in to find everyone still alive - her parents, her sister and brother-in-law and their three small children.
"They were in shock. They were numb," Phyllis Hubin said.
"They hadn't slept. They hadn't eaten," Ed Hubin said.
The couple ended up staying with Phyllis' family for about two weeks, helping them clean up the muck and the destruction left in the flood's wake.
Contact Emilie Rusch at 394-8453 or email@example.com.