RAPID CITY, S.D. – Ronald and Lavonne Masters had been dwelling in Rapid City for round three years earlier than the 1972 flood.
While at a softball recreation, they seen darkish clouds in the distance which finally got here and dumped a soaking rain on them. The couple and their 5 kids left for residence quickly after, the place they acquired the kids prepared for mattress earlier than visiting pals.
About an hour into the go to, they acquired a name from their oldest daughter, Karen.
“She mentioned ‘they’re telling us that we must be out of our homes now if we reside alongside the creek,’” Lavonne defined. “And we did. We lived throughout the avenue from the creek.”
“On Jackson Boulevard, we had been the first home on the west facet of the bridge,” her husband defined.
They dressed up the kids and ready to depart in their automobile, a 1965 International Scout A. brief time later, as Ronald recalled, a 35-foot wall of water approached — taking out the Canyon Lake Dam and spilling onto the highway.
“The first wall of water hit us and simply took the automobile, spun it round in a circle and proper into the water,” Ronald mentioned. “And we floated proper throughout the creek and down right into a decrease place and acquired caught between the gigantic cottonwood timber.”
All 5 youngsters had been in the again of the automobile: Karen, Joanne, Timothy, Jonathan and Stephen when extra water got here flooding inside.
Ron managed to free each himself and his spouse from the automobile and finally his daughter Karen.
In complete darkness they held on — clinging to close by timber via the evening. The lightning offering momentary glimpses of their environment.
The water didn’t start to recede till the early hours of the morning, finally revealing the window they escaped from — and a voice.
“Joanne, our daughter, got here floating over to the water and got here proper as much as my eyes.”
Joanne had managed to seek out an air pocket in the submerged automobile. Their sons nevertheless, died throughout the evening. Jonathan and Stephen, each with Joanne, had suffocated.
Their youngest son, Timothy, had been misplaced to the water as Ronald was releasing his spouse and daughter Karen.
Timothy’s physique was found later — the 238th and last recovered in the aftermath of the flood.
Since that evening, they’ve saved to their religion and shared their story all throughout the nation, holding to the perception of seeing their kids as soon as once more.
“You know, we have now all had tragedies — some deeper, some not as laborious, however harsh. Life is full of these issues to remind us that this world is just not our residence, and we’re simply touring via.”
The couple has additionally printed a e-book on their expertise, “Some Through the Flood.”