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Cheyenne Park Dragged Into Muddy National Spotlight [OPINION]

Puerto Rico Faces Extensive Damage After Hurricane Maria
Joe Raedle/Getty Images


“Half of Puerto Rico is without safe drinking water and FEMA just spent $3 million on a park in Cheyenne, Wyoming”

– Washington Examiner

Social media lit up with anger over that opinion article headline purporting the inequity of human suffering in hurricane-ravaged areas while FEMA dollars are being spent on a park in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

What this righteous indignation failed to address is that this “park” is the result of a plan set in motion after the Cheyenne flood of 1985, when six inches of rain fell within four hours, causing 12 deaths, more than 70 injuries and massive other problems.

What these headlines and clickbait articles don’t address is that these FEMA funds are primarily intended for flood control, via a multiuse park, instead of just a large retention pond.

“Anyone unlucky enough to be in the path of those storms will spend months, if not years, piecing their lives together again — fixing homes, rebuilding businesses, and burying drowned family.” But the good people of Cheyenne, Wyo., they will be just fine.”

The September 28, 2017 article continued with “The Federal Emergency Management Agency just approved the city’s request for a $3 million grant to build the Civic Center Commons park. As 3.4 million Puerto Ricans struggle to find safe drinking water, FEMA announced on Friday that they’d help turn a parking lot in downtown Cheyenne into a drainage pond.

Michael B. Thomas, Getty Images
Michael B. Thomas, Getty Images

Theresa Moore, Director of Community Relations and Events for the City Of Cheyenne told me “the five-year project is to protect us from events like that of August of 1985″ when Dry Creek became anything but dry.

Engineers and others surveyed the location between 20th & 21st Streets and Oneil & Bent Avenues for capacity and practicality and instead of just a hole, it is also a park, across from the Municipal Building.

Plain and simple, It’s a good looking and multi-use stormwater project, to save lives and property. Beware of yellow journalism.

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