When he returned to Sioux Falls, Hemmingsen only had a few hours to turn that film around for the evening news. show, a 10:30 special was planned for the same evening. Some of us remember a pre digital time when film had to go through a lengthy Nike Zoom Run The One Basketball Shoes developing process. It had to be done and it had to be quick because his footage was the first real look at the devastated city. Hemmingsen recalls the two news anchors stalling on live TV as film was being edited to air. There was nothing High Definition about the final product.
"Leo Hartig, the news director said, out to the airport. You going to Rapid City, Hemmingsen said. "I said, going on? He said, gone.
"It showed how much people want information, and in a case like that, they don care how pretty it is or how well produced it was. Afterward, the phones went crazy," Hemmingsen said. "They thought it was one of the greatest things they ever seen. They didn know it was just a footnote to another disaster."
Flying back and forth to Rapid City for three days was not a glamorous job, but it impacted a career.
"When the dust settled, as it were, I realized I had probably just covered the biggest story I was going to cover," Hemmingsen said. "You know there are two sides. There the human side; you know, you are covering a disaster. Then there the reporter side, where you are exercising your curiosity. You can have one without the other and do your job."
the magnitude of the event that took 238 lives. TV and radio reports helped alert the people waiting for any piece of information to emerge.
cell phones, Facebook, blogs or any of the instant communication technology we are used to in the 21st century. Nobody knew the magnitude of the flood, but a garage turned makeshift morgue made it clear.
"There were rows of bodies under sheets. People lying there waiting to be reclaimed, so to speak," Hemmingsen said. "I don remember if this is real, or it is something I dreamed about or what. To me, I remembered one body with a hand with a limb in it that maybe he had grabbed so tight they had to cut it off."
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Grabbing a photographer and getting on a plane was not a problem at all. Finding a place to land in Rapid City, however, was not as easy. The Rapid City Municipal Airport was closed due to dense fog. Senator Jim Abourezk was also aboard the plane. Hemmingsen credits him for getting the plane re routed to the Ellsworth Air Force Base.
"You knew something had happened because all of the cars were stacked up like a deck of cards, so this thing had come through there like a toilet flushing and pushed everything out of the way. Moved houses a couple of blocks from foundations and it was here and gone. It really was a flash flood," Hemmingsen said.
Former Anchor On Covering RC Flood
He did not have much time to think about what he saw. In fact, like the flood itself, the whole morning of events leading up to his arrival in Rapid City happened in an instant.
There was not a grand plan of how to cover the flood for KELO TV newscast later that evening; there was not even a small plan.
SIOUX FALLS, SD Before news broke about the Rapid City flood in 1972, people living Nike Kyrie 2 Inferno Preschool
Steve Hemmingsen was not anchoring from behind the KELO News desk yet. He was a fresh face just about two years into building his career in KELOLAND when Rapid City went under.
"We just shot film and shot film," Hemmingsen said.
"They literally talked us out of the fog on to the runway with the pilot, as I recall, wearing some sort of visor or mask kind of thing so he wouldn let his senses interfere with what he was being told," Hemmingsen said.
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