Field Of Dreams May Not Be Ready For Baseball Season After Flooding

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VAN BUREN (KFSM)-- The Field of Dreams in Van Buren has turned into a nightmare after the recent flooding.

Paul Dunn is the parks manager in Van Buren, and he said he was shocked by the damage.

“It looked like a tornado had come through,” Dunn said. “It was amazing, the devastation, and every time you leave and come into the park, you’re surprised of just how bad it is.”

Dunn said workers were still recovering from the last flood.

“We were probably about ten days away from being finished with the May flood, and then this one hit,” Dunn said.

He said the fields have flooded a few times before, but this one has caused the most damage.

“Probably had 15 inches of water in our buildings, and destroyed a lot of our fences,” Dunn said. “Of course, all of our buildings, the sheet rock, the ply wood we’re having to rip out.”

Dennis Gilstrap, the director of emergency management in Crawford County, said it could have been worse, but Dunn had enough warning to start preparing.

“I think he was right in the middle of opening Christmas presents when the mayor, after I had talked to him, the mayor called him and said get out to the field of dreams and start getting ready,” Gilstrap said.

Gilstrap said Dunn was able to save some of the larger equipment.

“It allowed for the workers at the field of dreams to get out and to move some of the equipment and get it to higher places,” Gilstrap said.

Dunn said he’s not sure if the fields will be ready in time for baseball season, and the Boys and Girls Club and Van Buren High School teams that use the fields might have to practice somewhere else.

“It’s just hard to say,” Dunn said. “You know, I don’t know. I would love for it to be. We simply don’t know.”

He said if another flood comes, they’ll start over again.

“You can’t pick up a 73-acre complex and move it, and chances are it will happen again, but we don’t think that, and we’ll just build back,” Dunn said.

Dunn said he does not know the amount of money needed to pay for repairs, and that he is waiting for the insurance company to assess the damage.