Minden Press-Herald

Oct 01st

Evacuations Urged


Roads leading to Doyline may also lead to danger this weekend during a cooperative endeavor to move more than one million pounds of improperly stored M6, a smokeless explosive propellant.

To ensure public safety, Highways 164 and 163 will be closed, hopefully leading to travel delays at worst as the plan is executed.

"Starting Saturday morning at daylight, we will begin moving the improperly-stored product," said Gary Sexton, Webster Parish Sheriff. "We are highly recommending the people residing inside the city limits of Doyline to be prepared to leave Friday afternoon, preferably before Friday night.

"They should be prepared to stay gone through the weekend," he continued. "We don't know exactly how long it is going to take to move this product."

Road blocks will be located at Amos Cutoff and Hwy. 164 going west into Doyline and Amos Cutoff and Hwy 163 going north into Doyline in Webster Parish and at Boomtown Road and Hwy. 164 in Bossier Parish going east.

"No one will be allowed in past those points," Sexton said, noting the evacuation is not mandatory. "People will be allowed to come out, but once outside of that area, no one will be allowed back in."

Sexton hopes to have the material moved this weekend. However, the move may take until some time next week to finish.

"We are not going to rush this at the risk of public safety," he said. "Keeping the public safe and informed is our priority right now."

Webster Parish Sheriff reserve deputies have been called in, and Sexton said he has 25 additional volunteers from parishes around the state to assist with the transportation of the propellant.

Transportation of the million pounds of properly stored product is already in the process of being moved to a customer in Arkansas.

"That is a normal operation," Sexton said. "This product, stored properly, moves up and down our highways daily. The only reason we are pushing to move the properly-stored product is so there is a place to put the improperly stored product."

Officials said during a press conference held Wednesday afternoon they are sensitive to those affected by the transportation of the hazardous material.

"We want to minimize the impact this move will have on the community but we want to make sure they are as safe as possible," Sexton said. "We understand the inconvenience the evacuation will have on Doyline residents. But we are not going to put safety aside. It will take as long as it takes, but we are hoping to do it this weekend. But we will take as long as we need to so that this is done safely."

The current investigation follows an explosion on October 15 involving Explo Systems, Inc. In the follow-up, Louisiana State Police discovered the improperly-stored product.

As of right now, Explo is still selling their commercial ready product, but their manufacturing process is at a stand still.







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