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Asbestos Serious Concern After Vehicles Damaged Ruby Hill Park During Blizzard

DENVER (CBS4) - Denver Parks and Recreation crews are working to clean-up asbestos after Ruby Hill Park visitors tore up turf that may have exposed some of the cancer-causing material. The park was targeted by vandals after last weekend's blizzard.

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"They were so excited about the snowstorm, you know 4th biggest snowstorm in the city," Scott Gilmore, Deputy Executive Director of DPR.

Denver received more than two feet of snow over the weekend.

An epic snowstorm, may have left behind a historic amount of damage to Ruby Hill, a well-known local spot for sledding. Parks and Recreation crews are mapping out the park for repairs.

"They just tore all the turf up. So this park is considered an environmental site," he said.

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Scott Gilmore told CBS4 the park had been closed off to vehicle traffic, but some decided they didn't want to obey the rules and drove around the barriers.

"It's was very surprising to hear that this was an old trash dump and there was asbestos here," a dog walker said.

Ruby Hill was once a landfill decades ago when asbestos was commonly used. Some amounts of it may still be in the soil, that's why Denver Parks and Recreation closely monitors it.

"We might have to remove some soil which has to be taken to a certified site where we can actually dispose of it," Gilmore explained.

Cars may have also run over irrigation fixtures; Gilmore estimates the costs for repairs could easily add up to $100,000. This comes during a time when budgets are already tight.

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"It's akin to somebody coming into your yard and damaging your yard," he added.

Denver police told CBS4 they are investigating this incident.

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