Cultural Heritage Center exhibits 2011 South Dakota flood items

Cultural Heritage Center exhibits 2011 South Dakota flood items
Some of the 2011 flood items on display at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center. (Photo courtesy of State Historical Society)

Some of the 2011 flood items on display at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center. (Photo courtesy of State Historical Society)

PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota’s flood of 2011 has been blamed for negatively impacting tourist numbers. But now there’s an effort under way at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre to capitalize on the flood’s appeal to visitors.

The 2011 Missouri River Flood is the subject of a new display at the center, located in Pierre.

“It did not happen a century ago, but it is certainly historical,” said Helen B Louise, director of the Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society.

The museum is featuring a number of items related to the flood. Some of the items include photos, a sandbag, a traffic cone and shovel used to fill sandbags, a volunteer sandbagger’s work clothes, and T-shirts made to raise money for flood victims.

“Events such as this are great examples of how history is made every day,” said Louise. “As the state history museum, we have a responsibility to collect materials to document this segment of our history.”

In addition to the artifacts on display, museum staff also took more than 1,000 photos around the Pierre/Fort Pierre area, and recorded video each day the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers increased the release levels out of the Oahe Dam.  Even with all this material, there is more the museum would like to collect.

“We currently do not have any flood-related materials from the southeast part of the state,” said Dan Brosz, curator of collections with the museum. “We are very interested in acquiring what we can from around Dakota Dunes and Yankton, so that we can have representation of all the affected towns.”

The exhibit is on display in the lobby of the Cultural Heritage Center, and will be up through the end of September. There is no admission fee to see the flood exhibit; there is a small admission fee to the museum gallery.

Museum hours are 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. CDT Monday-Saturday and 1-4:30 p.m. on Sundays.

— From a State Historical Society news release

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