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Dust devil flings dugout onto cars

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By Carol A. Clark

The ballfield at Overlook Park in White Rock was the scene of a bizarre event Saturday afternoon. A massive dust devil whipped across Field 3 at about 4 p.m. and, according to eyewitnesses, picked up the entire dugout at ballfield 2 and dropped it on top of two vehicles parked nearby between fields two and three.The 2003 Ford Ranger and 1997 Ford Expedition belonged to Henry Flores of Los Alamos and his son. They were practicing with a ball team in Field 1, he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Flores said. “The dugout weighed about 1,500 pounds. Eight grown men couldn’t budge it. We had to more or less prop it up and drive the cars out from under it.”The police were called to the scene. Sgt. Jason Wardlow stated in his report that he arrived at Field 2 at about 4:50 p.m. and saw the vehicles with what appeared to be “the roof and rear wall of the wooden dugout structure resting on top of each vehicle’s hood.” Eleven adults and two children advised him that they heard a gust of wind and saw the dugout land on the vehicles, he said.“Each vehicle received damage to the hood and fender areas,” Wardlow said.  Los Alamos County owns the park so Flores submitted his and his son’s estimates to the county in the hopes that the damage done to the vehicles will be covered. “Both of my estimates came it at $5,000 and my son’s estimate came in at about $2,600,” Flores said.Los Alamos County Risk Management Specialist Jan Hiller said this morning that she received the estimates from Flores and his son. “I submitted their claims to our insurance company and we’ll have to wait to see what they decide,” Hiller said.