The Great Flood

The Great Flood (HMXIP)

Location: Deadwood, SD 57732 Lawrence County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 22.587', W 103° 43.776'

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"Prepare for the worst!" the telephone call from upstream warned. About that time Whitewood Creek, swollen from spring snow and rain, broke over its banks within Deadwood, carving a path of destruction. The creek which now flows under the highway in front of you, swept away over a hundred Deadwood buildings. Debris lodged against the Lee Street bridge, forming a dam; water rushed around the bridge, destroying structures along Lee Street. The businesses on Main Street were above the water level, but the flood washed out Chinatown, on lower Main Street. Remarkably, only three people were killed.After the flood of 1883, townspeople responded by building a containing wall along the creek bed. Flooding reoccurred until the 1960s when engineers contained Whitewood Creek and built the highway over it. Until that time, there was no north-south roadway between Main and Sherman Streets. As you can see, the backs of the buildings were not designed to be exposed to a thoroughfare.

[Photo captions:] [Right] Debris piled up behind businesses in the 600 block of Main Street. [Photo credit] Adams Museum, Deadwood.
[Left] Looking north along Whitewood Creek after the flood. Notice the unusually wide creek bed, and the lack of bridges. Sherman Street is on the right. [Photo credit] Adams Museum, Deadwood.

Marker Number11
Placed ByDeadwood Historic Preservation Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at 9:30pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13T E 601207 N 4914470
Decimal Degrees44.37645000, -103.72960000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 22.587', W 103° 43.776'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 22' 35.22" N, 103° 43' 46.56" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)605
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2-98 Lee St, Deadwood SD 57732, US
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