Rapid City, South Dakota


Rapid City, South Dakota
City of Rapid City
—  City  —
Downtown Rapid City
Location in Pennington County and the state of South Dakota
Coordinates: 44°04′34″N 103°13′42″W / 44.076188°N 103.228299°W / 44.076188; -103.228299Coordinates: 44°04′34″N 103°13′42″W / 44.076188°N 103.228299°W / 44.076188; -103.228299
Country United States
State South Dakota
County Pennington
Founded 1876[1]
Incorporated 1882
Government
 – Mayor Sam Kooiker
Area
 – City 44.7 sq mi (115.7 km2)
 – Land 44.6 sq mi (115.5 km2)
 – Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 3,202 ft (976 m)
Population (2010)
 – City 67,956
 – Density 588.4/sq mi (1,523.7/km2)
 – Metro 120,279
Time zone Mountain (UTC-7)
 – Summer (DST) Mountain (UTC-6)
Zip code 57701, 57702, 57703, 57709
Area code(s) 605
FIPS code 46-52980[2]
GNIS feature ID 1265333[3]
Website www.rcgov.org

Rapid City is the second-largest city in the U.S. state of South Dakota, and the county seat of Pennington County.[4] Named after Rapid Creek on which the city is established, it is set against the eastern slope of the Black Hills mountain range. The population was 67,956 as of the 2010 Census. Rapid City is known as the "Gateway to the Black Hills" and the "Star of the West". The city is divided by a mountain range that splits the western and eastern parts of the city into two.

Contents

History

Panoramic view of Sixth and Main Streets in Rapid City, ca. 1912

The public discovery of gold in 1874 by the Custer Expedition brought a mass influx of settlers into the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Rapid City was founded (and originally known as "Hay Camp") in 1876 by a group of disappointed miners, who promoted their new city as the "Gateway to the Black Hills." John Brennan and Samuel Scott, with a small group of men, laid out the site of the present Rapid City in February 1876, which was named for the spring-fed Rapid Creek that flows through it. A square mile was measured off and the six blocks in the center were designated as a business section. Committees were appointed to bring in prospective merchants and their families to locate in the new settlement. The city soon began selling supplies to miners and pioneers. Its location on the edge of the Plains and Hills and its large river valley made it the natural hub of railroads arriving in the late 1880s from both the south and east. By 1900, Rapid City had survived a boom and bust and was establishing itself as an important regional trade center for the upper midwest.

Although the Black Hills became a popular tourist destination in the late 1890s, it was a combination of local efforts, the popularity of the automobile, and construction of improved highways that brought tourists to the Black Hills in large numbers after World War I. Gutzon Borglum, already a famous sculptor, began work on Mount Rushmore in 1927 and his son, Lincoln Borglum, continued the carving of the presidents' faces in rock following his father's death in 1941. The work was halted due to pressures leading to the US entry into World War II and the massive sculpture was declared complete in 1941. Although tourism sustained the city throughout the Great Depression of the 1930s, the gas rationing of World War II had a devastating effect on the tourist industry in the town, but this was more than made up for by the war-related growth.

The city benefited greatly from the opening of Rapid City Army Air Base, later Ellsworth Air Force Base, an Army Air Corps training base. As a result, the population of the area nearly doubled between 1940 and 1948, from almost 14,000 to nearly 27,000 people. Military families and civilian personnel soon took every available living space in town, and mobile parks proliferated. Rapid City businesses profited from the military payroll. During the Cold War, missile installations proliferated in the area: a series of Nike Air Defense sites were constructed around Ellsworth in the 1950s. In the early 60s the construction of three Titan (rocket family) missile launch sites containing a total of nine Titan I missiles in the general vicinity of Rapid City took place. Beginning in November 1963, the land for a hundred miles east, northeast and northwest of the city was dotted with 150 Minuteman missile silos and 15 launch command centers, all of which were deactivated in the early 1990s.[5]

In 1949, city officials envisioned the city as a retail and wholesale trade center for the region and designed a plan for growth that focused on a civic center, more downtown parking places, new schools, and paved streets. A construction boom continued into the 1950s. Growth slowed in the 1960s, but the worst natural disaster in South Dakota history, the Black Hills Flood led to another building boom a decade later. On June 9, 1972, heavy rains caused massive flooding of the Rapid Creek. More than 250 people lost their lives and more than $100 million in property was destroyed.

Debris along Rapid Creek after 1972 flood.

The devastation of the flood and the outpouring of private donations and millions of dollars in federal aid led to the completion of one big part of the 1949 plan: clearing the area along the Rapid Creek and making it a public park. New homes and businesses were constructed to replace those that had been destroyed. Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and a new Central High School were built in part of the area that had been cleared. The new Central High School opened in 1978, with the graduating class in that year straddling both the original Central (housed in what is now Dakota Middle School) and the new Central. The rebuilding in part insulated Rapid City from the drop in automotive tourism caused by the Oil Embargo in 1974, but tourism was depressed for most of a decade. In 1978, Rushmore Mall was built on the north edge of the city, adding to the city's position as a retail shopping center.

In 1980 in United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the government of the United States had illegally stolen the Black Hills from the Sioux people when the government unilaterally broke the treaty that guaranteed the Black Hills belonged to the Sioux. The court decision offered money, but the Sioux declined on principle that the theft of their land should not be validated, and still demand the return of the land.[6] This land includes Rapid City, which is by far the largest modern settlement in the Black Hills. As of 2010, the dispute has not been settled.

In the 1980s, growth was fueled by an increase in tourism, increasingly tied to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, followed by another decline in the late 1990s. Fears for the closure of Ellsworth AFB as part of the massive base closure process in the 1990s and 2000s led to attempts to expand other sectors of the economy, but growth continued and the city expanded significantly during this period.

Today, Rapid City is South Dakota's primary city for tourism and recreation. With the approval of a Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory at the Homestake Mine site, Rapid City has a future of great advancements in technology, medicine, and scientific research.

1972 Rapid Creek Flood

Cars jumbled together by the 1972 flood.

On June 9–10, 1972, extremely heavy rains over the eastern Black Hills of South Dakota produced record floods on Rapid Creek and other streams in the area. Nearly 15 inches (380 mm) of rain fell in about 6 hours near Nemo, and more than 10 inches (250 mm) of rain fell over an area of 60 square miles (160 km2). According to the Red Cross, the resulting peak floods (which occurred after dark) left 238 people dead and 3,057 people injured.[7] In addition to the human tragedy, total damage was estimated in excess of $160 million (about $821 million in 2009 dollars), which included 1,335 homes and 5,000 automobiles that were destroyed. Runoff from this storm produced record floods (highest peak flows recorded) along Battle, Spring, Rapid, and Box Elder Creeks. Smaller floods also occurred along Elk Creek and Bear Butte Creek. Canyon Lake Dam, on the west side of Rapid City, broke the night of the flood, unleashing a wall of water down the creek. The 1972 flooding has an estimated recurrence interval of 500 years,[8] which means that a flood of this magnitude will occur on average once every 500 years. Every year there is a 0.2 percent chance (1 in 500) of experiencing a similar event. To prevent a similar tragedy from occurring in the future, the city's flood plain is no longer allowed to be built upon. Today the flood plain features golf courses, parks, sports arenas, and arboretums where neighborhoods and businesses once stood.

In 2007, the Rapid City Public Library created a 1972 Flood digital archive that collects survivors' stories, photos and news accounts of the flood. The Journey Museum has an interactive display on the 1972 flood which is an ongoing project to give future generations the best idea of how the people were affected and the changes made to it because of the loss of 238 lives. It will in the future include the biographies of all of those who died so they will be remembered as more than names on a memorial.

Geography

Rapid City is located at 44°04′34″N 103°13′42″W / 44.076188°N 103.228299°W / 44.076188; -103.228299. The downtown elevation of Rapid City is 3,202 feet (976 m) and Rapid City sits in the shadow of Harney Peak; which at 7,242 feet (2,207 m), is the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 44.7 sq mi (116 km2), of which 44.6 square miles (116 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.13%) is water.[9]

Rapid City is located on the eastern edge of the Black Hills, and is split in half by the Dakota Hogback. Rapid City's "Westside" is located in the Red Valley between the foothills of the Black Hills proper and the Dakota Hogback, so named for the red Spearfish formation soils and the way the valley completely circles the Black Hills. Rapid City has grown up into the foothills, with both ridges and valleys developed, especially in the last 20 years, and wildfire is a distinct threat to these residential areas, as shown by the Westberry Trails fire in 1988.

Skyline Drive follows the summits of the Dakota Hogback south from near Rapid Gap (where Rapid Creek cuts through the Hogback) to a large high plateau which forms the current south edge of Rapid City. The Central and Eastern portions of Rapid City lie in the wide valley of Rapid Creek outside the Hogback, which includes a number of mesas rising a hundred feet or more above the floodplain.

Rapid Creek

Rapid Creek flows through Rapid City, emerging from Dark Canyon above Canyon Lake and flowing in a large arc north of Downtown. Rapid Creek descends to the southeast as the valley widens. The floodplain of Rapid Creek is mostly a series of parks, arboretums, and bike trails, one legacy of the Black Hills Flood of 1972. To the north, a series of ridges separates Rapid Creek from Box Elder Creek, with large older and new residential areas and commercial areas along I-90. To the south, the terrain rises more steeply to the southern widening of the Dakota Hogback into a plateau dividing the Rapid Creek drainage from Spring Creek.

Climate

View of southern Rapid City from the east after a rainstorm, including a view of Harney Peak and the Black Hills.

Rapid City features a steppe climate (Koppen BSk). Its location makes its climate unlike both the higher elevations of the Black Hills and the Great Plains to the east. It is characterized by long arid summers and long dry winters, with short but distinct spring and autumn seasons.

Winters are cold and dry, with highs averaging from 33.6 °F (0.9 °C) in January; however, Chinook winds can warm temperatures above 50 °F (10 °C), doing so 20 times from December to February.[10] Temperature inversions, however, occasionally produce warmer temperatures in the Black Hills. The January low averages 11.3 °F (−11.5 °C), though it drops below 0 °F (−17.8 °C) on 19 nights per season.[10] Snowfall is greatest in March, with an average 9.1 inches (23.1 cm), and totals 41.1 inches (104 cm) for the season.[10] However, extensive snow cover does not remain for long, with only 9 days per year of 5 inches (13 cm) or more on the ground.[10]

Spring is somewhat gradual, and diurnal temperature ranges begin to become consistently large. May weather is mild and precipitation changes from rain showers to thunderstorms. Storms typically develop over the Black Hills during the afternoon and move onto the plains in the evening. However, Rapid City still sees an average of 20 clear to partly cloudy days and 65 percent of its possible sunshine in June.[11] This is the traditional "flood" season for Rapid and other creeks in the Eastern Hills. Temperatures warm rapidly as summer approaches. Daytime highs range from 62 to 81 °F (17 to 27 °C) in May and June, while the range for lows is 38 to 55 °F (3 to 13 °C).

Summer in Rapid City is hot, relatively dry, and sunny. July and August are the warmest months of the year, when daytime temperatures climb into the mid 80s F (29-30 C), to or above 90 °F (32.2 °C) on an average 29 days per year and 100 °F (37.8 °C) on 3.7 days.[10] Breezy winds and low humidity levels increase heat tolerance. Rapid City records an average of 9 thunderstorm days in August,[11] but only 1.67 inches (42 mm) of rain.[10] Rapid City receives 75 percent of its possible sunshine.[11] Because the elevation of the Black Hills are between 4000 and 8,000 feet (2,400 m), the sun is very intense.

Fall is a precipitous transition season, with sunny, mild days, and cool nights. Highs range from 75 to 53 °F (24 to 12 °C) from mid September to late October, with lows ranging from 46 to 28 °F (8 to -2 °C) in that same time frame. The average first freeze in Rapid City is October 4 and late August through September in the Black Hills. The Rapid City area’s first snowfall is usually in October, although higher elevations sometimes receive significant snow in September. Occasional cold fronts moving through the area bring blustery northwest winds.

November and December mark the beginning of winter in the Black Hills. Despite cooler temperatures and more snow; the area still has many mild, sunny days. By December, daytime temperatures are in the 30s with nighttime readings in the teens and sometimes below zero in the Black Hills. Storms early in the season produce heavy, wet snow. As the winter progresses, storm tracks from the northwest bring drier snow. Rapid City’s chances for a "White Christmas" (defined as having inch or more of snow on the ground) averages about 50 percent.

Sunshine is abundant in the region, averaging 2850 hours, 65% of the possible total, per year.[12]

Rapid City holds two weather records — fastest temperature rise of 49 °F (27 °C) in 2 minutes on January 22, 1943 and fastest temperature drop of 47 °F (26 °C) in 5 minutes on January 10, 1911.[13] Extremes also range from −31 °F (−35 °C) on February 2, 1996 to 110 °F (43 °C) on July 8, 1989.[10]

Climate data for Rapid City, South Dakota
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 76
(24)
75
(24)
82
(28)
93
(34)
98
(37)
106
(41)
110
(43)
106
(41)
104
(40)
94
(34)
83
(28)
75
(24)
110
(43)
Average high °F (°C) 33.6
(0.9)
38.6
(3.7)
46.6
(8.1)
57.1
(13.9)
67.2
(19.6)
77.4
(25.2)
85.5
(29.7)
85.5
(29.7)
75.2
(24.0)
61.7
(16.5)
44.8
(7.1)
36.1
(2.3)
59.1
Average low °F (°C) 11.3
(−11.5)
15.9
(−8.9)
23.2
(−4.9)
32.3
(0.2)
42.7
(5.9)
51.8
(11.0)
57.9
(14.4)
56.6
(13.7)
46.0
(7.8)
34.7
(1.5)
22.1
(−5.5)
13.3
(−10.4)
34.0
Record low °F (°C) −27
(−33)
−31
(−35)
−21
(−29)
1
(−17)
18
(−8)
32
(0)
39
(4)
38
(3)
18
(−8)
−2
(−19)
−19
(−28)
−30
(−34)
−31
(−35)
Precipitation inches (mm) .37
(9.4)
.46
(11.7)
1.03
(26.2)
1.86
(47.2)
2.96
(75.2)
2.83
(71.9)
2.03
(51.6)
1.61
(40.9)
1.10
(27.9)
1.37
(34.8)
.61
(15.5)
.41
(10.4)
16.64
(422.7)
Snowfall inches (cm) 5.2
(13.2)
6.5
(16.5)
9.1
(23.1)
6.2
(15.7)
.5
(1.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
.2
(0.5)
1.8
(4.6)
6.3
(16)
5.3
(13.5)
41.1
(104.4)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 6.4 6.4 8.2 9.7 12.0 12.1 9.8 7.8 6.5 6.4 5.8 5.5 96.6
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 6.5 6.2 6.3 3.9 .3 0 0 0 .3 1.5 4.8 5.5 35.3
Sunshine hours 164.3 175.2 232.5 246.0 272.8 312.0 334.8 322.4 261.0 226.3 156.0 148.8 2,852.1
Source: NOAA (normals 1971−2000, extremes 1948−2001),[10] HKO (sun only, 1961−1990) [12]

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1880 292
1890 2,128 628.8%
1900 1,342 −36.9%
1910 3,454 157.4%
1920 5,777 67.3%
1930 10,464 81.1%
1940 13,844 32.3%
1950 25,310 82.8%
1960 42,390 67.5%
1970 43,846 3.4%
1980 46,492 6.0%
1990 54,523 17.3%
2000 59,607 9.3%
2010 67,956 14.0%

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 59,607 people, 23,969 households, and 15,220 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,336.7 people per square mile (516.1/km2). There were 25,096 housing units at an average density of 562.8 per square mile (217.3/km2).[9] The racial makeup of the city was 84.33% White, 0.97% African American, 10.14% Native American, 1.00% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.73% from other races, and 2.77% from two or more races.[14] Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.77% of the population.[14]

There were 23,969 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.96.[14]

In the city the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.6 males.[15]

The median income for a household in the city was $35,978, and the median income for a family was $44,818. Males had a median income of $30,985 versus $21,913 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,445. About 9.4% of families and 12.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.6% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.

Healthcare

Rapid City is a major medical care center for a five-state region, centered around the Rapid City Regional Hospital and the Indian Health Service's Sioux San Hospital. Other smaller, independent medical facilities have been established in the area, including the Black Hills Surgery Center, The Heart Doctors, The Spine Center at Rapid City, Setliff Sinus Institute, Black Hills Eye Institute and Regional Behavioral Healthcare. Two Veterans Affairs hospitals are located nearby at Fort Meade, and Hot Springs. Emergency medical services (EMS) are provided by the Rapid City Department of Fire & Emergency Services. Rapid City is also home to a number of non-profit public health organizations that engage in survey and clinic research, epidemiology, and area-based health promotion disease prevention. The Health Education and Promotion Council and Black Hills Center for American Indian Health are two notable non-profit organizations.

Education

Rapid City institutions of higher education include the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Oglala Lakota College's He Sapa College Center, West River Graduate and Undergraduate Center (South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota), National American University, Western Dakota Technical Institute, Black Hills Beauty College and several small sectarian preacher training schools. Black Hills State University is located in nearby Spearfish, and offers several classes in Rapid City. The South Dakota state nurse training program is also based in Rapid City. There are two public high schools in the city, Central High School and Stevens High School. The city also has an alternative high school; Rapid City Academy, and at least three Christian high schools including Saint Thomas More, Rapid City Christian High School and Open Bible Christian School.

Rapid City Area Schools

The local public schools fall under the Rapid City Area Schools school district. There are two major high schools within the district. They are Central High School and Stevens High School. The middle schools include Dakota Middle School, North Middle School, South Middle School, Southwest Middle School, and West Middle School. There are 16 elementary schools within the district. These are Black Hawk, Canyon Lake, Corral Drive, General Beadle, Grandview, Horace Mann, Kibben Kuster, Knollwood Heights, Meadowbrook, Pinedale, Rapid Valley, Robbinsdale, South Canyon, South Park, Valley View, and Woodrow Wilson.[16]

Sports

  • The most successful of South Dakota's sports programs, Rapid City Post 22 American Legion Baseball has won dozens of state titles and made several appearances in the American Legion Baseball World Series, winning a title in 1993.
  • The Rapid City Thrillers was a professional basketball club that competed in the Continental Basketball Association beginning in the 1987-1988 season through the 1996-1997 season.
  • The Black Hills Posse was a professional basketball club that competed in the International Basketball Association beginning in the 1995-1996 season.
  • The Black Hills Gold was a professional basketball club that competed in the International Basketball Association during the 1999-2000 season.
  • The Rapid City Flying Aces is an indoor football team that competed between 2000 and 2006 in the Indoor Football League, United Indoor Football, and National Indoor Football League, changing names from season to season.
  • The Rapid City Rush is a minor league hockey team in the CHL.
  • The Rushmore Hockey Association is the home of youth hockey in Rapid City, competing in the South Dakota Amateur Hockey Association. The Rushmore Thunder won 2010 State Championships for Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Pee Wee B.

Art and culture

Because of the importance of tourism in the area, and its extensive market area, Rapid City has many cultural resources usually found only in much larger urban areas. Among these are:

Rapid City also has a large amount of public sculpture on display in many parts of the city. The most visible is "The City of Presidents" - a series of life-sized bronze statues representing each of the American presidents. The statues are located on street corners in the downtown area. Five South Dakota artists created the statues: Edward E. Hlavka, Lee Leuning, John Lopez, James Michael Maher, and James Van Nuys.[17] These statues are being erected by public subscription over a ten-year period between 2000 and 2010.

Sister cities

Rapid City has three sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

Industry and economy

Rapid City's economy is diverse, but has only a moderate amount of industry. Heavy and medium industrial activities include a Portland cement plant (constructed and owned for 84 years[18] by the State of South Dakota and sold in 2003 to GCC, a Mexican-based conglomerate), Black Hills Ammunition an ammunition and reloading supplies manufacturing company, several custom sawmills, a lime plant, a computer peripheral component manufacturing plant, and several farm and ranch equipment manufacturers. Of particular note, Rapid City is the center for the manufacture of Black Hills Gold, a popular product with tourists and Westerners in general. Rapid City is also the location of the only manufacturer of stamping machines used for the labeling of plywood and chipboard products.

Although most gold mining has ceased in the Black Hills and was never done in or near Rapid City, mining of sand and gravel, as well as the raw materials for lime and Portland cement (including chemical-grade limestone, taconite iron ore, and gypsum) remains an important part of the economy.

The largest sector of the Rapid City economy is government services, including local, state, and federal. Major employers include Ellsworth Air Force Base,[19] home of the 28th Bomb Wing flying the B-1B long-range bomber; the Army National Guard based at Camp Rapid and hosting annual exercises in the Black Hills drawing troops from five to ten states; and various federal agencies including the National Park Service, US Forest Service, and Indian Health Service.

The Rapid City Regional Hospital Healthcare System covers one of the largest expansions of territory in the United States. The health care sector employs over 8,000 persons in the Rapid City area.[19]

Tourism is also a major portion of the Rapid City economy,[19] due to the proximity of Mount Rushmore, Sturgis, home of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Deadwood, and other attractions in the Black Hills. Rapid City is the major source of services for the Motorcycle Rally, and the Rally's demand for motel rooms, camp sites, and other services for tourists during the first week of August means that Rapid City has the capacity to host large conventions and large numbers of tourists year-round. Various minor tourist attractions, including wildlife parks, specialty shops, caves, water parks, private museums, and other businesses are found in and near Rapid City.

Other economic sectors include financial service and investing companies such as Waddell and Reed, Citibank, WaMu, Merrill Lynch, and Northwestern Mutual. Rapid City is the headquarters for Assurant Insurance's pre-need division and Rapid City has a strong medical services sector, and institutions of higher education. Rapid City is also the major market town for much of five states, drawing commerce from more than half of South Dakota, and large portions of North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and the Nebraska Panhandle.

Transportation

Rapid City is a major transportation hub for the Northern Plains. Rapid City Regional Airport provides flights to the airline hub cities of Denver, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Dallas-Fort Worth, Las Vegas, Phoenix/Mesa and Chicago. The airport also has extensive General Aviation operations, including wildfire fighting activities and medical flight support to Rapid City medical facilities and Indian Health Service operations in the Dakotas.

Historically Rapid City was served by three Railroads, today Rapid City is served by the Dakota Minnesota & Eastern, now owned by 15,000-mile (24,000 km) long Canadian Pacific. The DM&E serves the Northern Black Hills and heads south into Nebraska. The DM&E's lines run east to Minnesota and south through Nebraska to connect with major transcontinental railroads (Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific).

Rapid City's central location allows easy transport of products to both coasts, and trucking is a major business activity in the city. Improved connections with Denver and I-80 to the south, via the Heartland Expressway now under construction will primarily benefit local trucking.

Rapid City's location on the boundary of the Western and Eastern power grids, together with the hydroelectric plants of the Mainstem Dams on the Missouri River and the large coal fields and power plants of the Powder River Basin of Wyoming make it one of the points where the two national power grids connect with each other, allowing switching of electrical power from east to west and vice versa.

Infrastructure

  • Interstate 90 is the primary east-west route for Rapid City. Rapid City is served by a series of 7 exits. I-90 skims the northern side of Rapid City. The South Dakota DOT has been reconstructing most of these interchanges in the last five years.
  • Interstate 190 is an Interstate spur linking downtown Rapid City to Interstate 90.
  • US Highway 16 is the main route to the southwest and the Black Hills from Rapid City. It links Rapid City to Custer and then west to Newcastle, Wyoming, where it connects to US Highway 85 for travel to Cheyenne and Denver. Reconstructed as a four-lane parkway connecting Rapid City to Mount Rushmore in the mid-1960s, major segments have been rebuilt as three-lane or "super-two" highways in the past decade, to support increased tourist traffic.
  • South Dakota Highway 44 is a state highway that links the interior of the Black Hills to the southwest of Rapid City, and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and nearby areas in the Great Plains to the southeast.
  • South Dakota Highway 79 is a state highway that is multiplexed with I-90 northwest of Rapid City. SD Highway 79 extends to and connects with US Highway 85 into North Dakota. South of Rapid City to Nebraska, Highway 79 is being reconstructed as the Heartland Expressway, a high-speed four-lane highway which will eventually connect to Interstate 80 in Nebraska and the Colorado Front Range near Denver. The Heartland Expressway may eventually be extended along US Highway 85 north to Regina, Saskatchewan, to create an additional major north-south artery through the Great Plains which would pass through Rapid City.

Rapid City's location on the boundary of the Western and Eastern power grids, together with the hydroelectric plants of the Mainstem Dams on the Missouri River and the large coal fields and power plants of the Powder River Basin of Wyoming make it one of the points where the two national power grids connect with each other, allowing switching of electrical power from east to west and vice versa. Rapid City has its own coal-fired power plant, but also obtains much of its power from both the Missouri dams and power stations near Gillette, Wyoming. Electrical rates are considered relatively low.

Rapid City obtains most of its water supply from Rapid Creek and the alluvial aquifers associated with the creek, owning significant water rights in Pactola Reservoir located some 15 miles (24 km) west of the city, but does also obtain water from some springs in the vicinity, and has the ability to draw water from deep formations which receive water from recharge in areas of the Black Hills where the formations come to the surface. The heavy dependence on shallow alluvial aquifers is of some concern to planners, as most suburbs of Rapid City use septic systems for domestic sewage treatment. However, water supplies remain relatively good for future growth.

The Rapid City Regional Airport operates at below maximum capacity for general aviation and commercial aviation, and is capable of handling all current commercial passenger and cargo aircraft.

Rapid City no longer has passenger rail service. Rail cargo service is limited: the Dakota, Minnesota, and Eastern provides connections to other cities in South Dakota and Minnesota, and connects to major rail service along the Mississippi River corridor, but the DM&E also connects to major transcontinental rail lines to the south, in Nebraska and Wyoming.

Rapid City has limited city-to-city bus service along I-90, but many charter bus services operate in the area, and connect Rapid City and Deadwood with cities in Colorado, Nebraska, and Iowa. Rapid City does have a municipally-owned bus service with multiple bus stops and a headquarters in the city.

Suburbs

The estimated 2007 population of the Rapid City Metropolitan Statistical Area (consisting of Pennington County and Meade County) was 120,279.[20] Most cities and towns in the Black Hills and the surrounding plains have a significant percentage of their population which commute to and from Rapid City, and many residents of Rapid City work in outlying towns. All settlements in the Black Hills have the same disputed legal status as Rapid City, having been squatted on land illegally misappropriated from the Sioux.

Among the nearer suburbs in Pennington and Meade Counties:

Communities at a greater distance from Rapid City include:

Local media

AM Radio

AM radio stations
Frequency Call sign Name Format Owner City of License Broadcast Market
580 AM KZMX 580 Country Country Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting, Inc Hot Springs Rapid City
810 AM KBHB Five State Ranch Radio Farm New Rushmore Radio, Inc Sturgis Rapid City
920 AM KKLS 97.5 The Hills Contemporary Hits New Rushmore Radio, Inc Rapid City Rapid City
980 AM KDSJ Oldies Goldrush Broadcasting, Inc Deadwood Rapid City
1150 AM KIMM Big Kim Country Classic Country Gunslinger Radio, Inc Rapid City Rapid City
1340 AM KTOQ K-Talk AM 1340 News/Talk Haugo Broadcasting, Inc Rapid City Rapid City
1380 AM KOTA Radio 1380 KOTA News/Talk Duhamel Broadcasting Enterprises Rapid City Rapid City


FM Radio

FM radio stations
Frequency Call sign Name Format Owner Target city/market City of license
88.3 FM KLMP The Light Christian Bethesda Christian Broadcasting Rapid City Rapid City
88.7 FM K204FB Community Radio
KILI-FM translator
Lakota Communications Inc. Rapid City Rapid City
89.3 FM KBHE South Dakota Public Broadcasting NPR SD Board of Directors for Educational Telecommunications Rapid City Rapid City
89.9 FM KQFR Family Radio Christian Family Stations Inc Rapid City Rapid City
90.3 FM KASD American Family Radio Christian American Family Radio Rapid City Rapid City
91.3 FM KTEQ K-Tech Alternative Tech Educational Radio Council Rapid City Rapid City
91.7 FM K218DX CSN International Christian
KAWZ-FM translator
CSN International Rapid City Box Elder
92.2 FM KQRQ-FM Q92.3 Classic Hits New Generation Broadcasting Rapid City Rapid City
93.1 FM KRCS Hot 93.1 Top 40 New Rushmore Radio, Inc. Rapid City Sturgis
93.9 FM KKMK Magic 93.9 Hot AC New Rushmore Radio, Inc. Rapid City Rapid City
95.1 FM KSQY K-Sky Album Oriented Rock Haugo Broadcasting, Inc Rapid City Deadwood
95.9 FM KZZI The Eagle Country Duhamel Broadcasting Rapid City Belle Fourche
96.3 FM K242BK The Eagle Country Duhamel Broadcasting Rapid City Rapid City
97.1 FM KFND-LP Religious Calvary Chapel of the Black Hills Rapid City Rapid City
97.5 FM K248BT 97.5 The Hills Adult Contemporary New Rushmore Radio, Inc. Rapid City Rapid City
97.9 FM KTPT The Point Christian Rock Bethesda Christian Broadcasting Rapid City Rapid City
98.7 FM KOUT Kat Country 98.7 Country New Rushmore Radio, Inc Rapid City Rapid City
99.5 FM KRKI-FM1 99-5 ESPN Sports Radio Sports
KRKI-FM booster
Michael Radio Group, LLC Rapid City Rapid City
100.3 FM KFXS 100.3 The Fox Classic Rock New Rushmore Radio, Inc Rapid City Rapid City
101.1 FM KDDX X-Rock Active Rock Duhamel Broadcasting Enterprises Rapid City Spearfish
101.9 FM KFMH-FM1 Oldies 101.9 Oldies
KFMH-FM booster
Laramie Mountain Broadcasting, LLC Rapid City Rapid City
102.7 FM KXMZ Hits 102.7 Hot AC Connoisseur Media Rapid City Box Elder
103.5 FM K278AN X-Rock Active Rock
KDDX-FM translator
Duhamel Broadcasting Enterprises Rapid City Rapid City
104.1 FM KIQK Kick 104 Country Haugo Broadcasting, Inc Rapid City Rapid City
104.7 FM K284BA Hot 93.1 Top 40
KRCS-FM translator
New Rushmore Radio, Inc Rapid City Rapid City
105.1 FM KAWK The Hawk 105.1 Adult Contemporary Haugo Broadcasting, Inc Rapid City Custer
105.7 FM K289AI The Light Christian
KLMP-FM translator
Bethesda Christian Broadcasting Rapid City Rapid City
106.3 FM KZLK She 106.3 Hot AC Steven E. Duffy Rapid City Custer
106.7 FM K294BT Big Kim Classic Country Country
KIMM-AM translator
Gunslinger Radio, Inc Rapid City Rapid City
107.3 FM KSLT Power 107.3 Christian Contemporary Bethesda Christian Broadcasting Rapid City Spearfish
107.9 FM K300AX Power 107.3 Christian Contemporary
KSLT-FM translator
Bethesda Christian Broadcasting Rapid City Rapid City

Template:Col--of-1Television

Print

Places of interest

Noteworthy residents

References

  1. ^ Hasselstrom, p. 331.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ The Brookings Institution. "Retiring a Minuteman ICBM (LGM-30F)". U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project. http://www.brook.edu/fp/projects/nucwcost/retire.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-04. 
  6. ^ Giago, Tim (2007-06-03). "The Black Hills: A Case of Dishonest Dealings". The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tim-giago/the-black-hills-a-case-o_b_50480.html. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  7. ^ "The 1972 Black Hills-Rapid City Flood Revisited". United States Geological Survey. http://sd.water.usgs.gov/projects/1972flood/. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  8. ^ (Burr and Korkow, 1996)
  9. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. Census 2000, Summary File 1. GCT-PH1. Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2000 by county subdivision and place, "Pennington County". American FactFinder. <http://factfinder.census.gov>. http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GCTTable?_bm=y&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U&-mt_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U_GCTPH1_CO1&-tree_id=4001&-geo_id=05000US46103&-format=CO-2&-_lang=en GCT-PH1. Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2000 by county subdivision and place,. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h "NCDC: U.S. Climate Normals". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. http://cdo.ncdc.noaa.gov/climatenormals/clim20/sd/396937.pdf. Retrieved 2010−05−14. 
  11. ^ a b c "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Rapid City, South Dakota, United States of America". http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?s=026627&refer=. Retrieved September 5, 2009. 
  12. ^ a b "Climatological Normals of Rapid City". Hong Kong Observatory. http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/climat/world/eng/n_america/us/rapid_city_e.htm. Retrieved 2010−05−14. 
  13. ^ Lyons, Walter A (1997). The Handy Weather Answer Book (2nd ed.). Detroit: Visible Ink press. ISBN 0-7876-1034-8. 
  14. ^ a b c U.S. Census Bureau. Census 2000. "Census Demographic Profiles, Rapid City" (PDF). CenStats Databases. <http://censtats.census.gov/data/>. http://censtats.census.gov/data/SD/1604652980.pdf. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  15. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. Census 2000. "QT-P1. Age Groups and Sex, Rapid City". American FactFinder. <http://factfinder.census.gov>. http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/QTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=16000US4652980&-qr_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U_QTP1&-ds_name=D&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  16. ^ "Rapid City Area Schools". Rapid City Area Schools. Archived from the original on 2007-12-22. http://web.archive.org/web/20071222224413/http://www.rcas.org/index.aspx. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  17. ^ visitrapidcity.com, Rapid City South Dakota Convention & Visitors Bureau, Rapid City, 2010. Retrieved on 2010-11-15.
  18. ^ Created by SD Constitutional Amendment, 1919.
  19. ^ a b c "Rapid City: Economy". City-Data.com. http://www.city-data.com/us-cities/The-Midwest/Rapid-City-Economy.html. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  20. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007 (CBSA-EST2007-01)" (CSV). 2007 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2007-03-27. http://www.census.gov/popest/metro/tables/2007/CBSA-EST2007-07.csv. Retrieved 2007-03-27. 

Bibliography

External links


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