August 1, 1985, was one of the darkest days in Wyoming history. 32 years ago, a tragic flash flood in Cheyenne claimed 12 lives and caused over $60 million in property damage.

The torrential storm rolled in with a fury, dropping six inches rain during the evening hours. The flooding created a deadly tidal wave which swept across the town.

As sirens rang out, several victims took shelter below ground and were drowned in their basements. Others were trapped inside their cars, unable to escape the rising waters. Dozens more were injured by floating debris. To make matters worse, the Cheyenne Police Department was also flooded, disabling the city's 911 system.

The death count would have been much higher if not for the heroic efforts of many, including Deputy Sheriff Robert Van Alyne, who drowned along with a little girl he dived into the rushing current attempting to save.

When the storm finally cleared, Cheyenne was a different place. And for those who still remember that fateful evening, it will never be the same.





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