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Follow those travel tips, especially leaving time for a connecting flight

Regarding “8 Basic Trips for Travelers” by Catharine Hamm in the June 12 Travel section: As a longtime international and domestic traveler who has been inconvenienced by nearly all of the incidents described in the article, I can attest to these tips and recommend following them.

Dallas, in particular, has caused me many an issue, so I always build in extra time if I’m going there or catching a connecting flight.

Paul Eggleton, Simi Valley

Remembering the Black Hills flood of 1972

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Regarding the article on the Black Hills of South Dakota ["You'll Never Forget This Face by Deb Hopewell, June 5]. I have not returned to that area since being there on June 8, 1972. My family and I — I was 12 at the time — spent the night at Grizzly Bear Campground.

I wanted to spend another day there and see Mt. Rushmore again, but my father insisted we move on to Rapid City to get our car serviced and spend the night in the Badlands. On June 9, we stopped to purchase gas at Keystone and spoke to a very nice young man working at the gas station on a summer college break. We ventured down to Rapid City and went into a malt shop. We met a businessman from Milwaukee who decided to spend one more night in a motel along the creek.

The weather reports contained no hint of what was to come.

At our campsite in Badlands, we awakened in the middle of the night to news that after a late night of heavy rains, there was flash flooding in the creeks in the Black Hills and that a dam had broken, sending a wall of water that leveled Keystone and went down to Rapid City, destroying much in its path, including all the little motels along the creek.

Mitchell, S.D., was our next destination, and all I remember was seeing Army National Guard trucks going the other direction and hearing on the the radio from Pierre, S.D., name after name after name of people reaching out to tell their relatives that they were OK.

I wonder to this day whatever happened to those two young men we spent the day talking to.

I'm so grateful to my dad for insisting that we needed to move on and not spend another night at the campground. Otherwise I wouldn't be sending this message to you.

Byron Jones, Arroyo Grande, Calif.

Editor's note: The floods that Jones described were the result of 15 inches of rain that fell in six hours. More than 230 people were killed, more than 3,000 were injured and more than 1,300 homes were destroyed, according to a U.S. Geological Survey fact sheet citing Red Cross statistics. Damage totaled more than $160 million, nearly $1 billion in today's dollars.

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