Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

Doyline economy may feel exodus


Roads to Doyline may be blocked this weekend, but some places in Doyline will still have an open door.

Rodney Finklea, owner of Tina's Kitchen and D&H Hardware, said he is staying open for business this weekend.

"They told us they would let residents in and out, and they could get to the store, so we will be here," he said.

Finklea, who has owned the store since 2007, said he was not concerned about the one million pounds of explosive propellant sitting a few miles from his store.

"I don't think this is a big deal. This isn't any different from any other time," he said. "That stuff has been sitting out there for who knows how long. They move this stuff all the time. They had to move it to there. Now that everyone knows about it, something is going to be done. I think it is all blown out of proportion."

Dollar General Store's manager said they will be open for business.

"This store will be open for this community," she said. "If there is access from the road (Hwy. 163), then I'll be here."

An area church, Point Chapel Assembly of God plans to hold service Sunday. The church, which is located at the corner of Amos Cutoff Road and Hwy. 163 had a guest speaker scheduled for this Sunday.

"We are good, God-fearing people," pastor Richard Bolt told Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton at Thursday night's town hall meeting. "If access to our church is not restricted, we will be able to have services, and we invite everyone to have church with us."

However, Powell's Grocery, located on Hwy. 164, will be closed.

"We will be closed all weekend and maybe Monday, too," said James Powell, the owner's son. "This is going to have quite a bit of an impact. Weekends are busier than during the week so, we will lose money this weekend."

Powell said this is the second time the convenience store has been inconvenienced.

"It's very much of an inconvenience. Our grocery supply truck runs on Monday mornings, so we are trying to work that out with them to reschedule that delivery. It's just a big mess," he said. "I'm sure we will seek financial restitution for this weekend; we did last time."

Powell's Grocery was closed during the 2006 evacuation, which also involved Explo Systems.

Powell's parents live next to the store they own and are affected by the evacuation.

"Where it is stored, it is not very far from us," Powell said, noting his parents would be evacuating as a precautionary measure. "We are confident everything is going to go smoothly."

However, Powell said he, like many community members, still have unanswered questions.

"If it was safe enough for it to be moved from where it was at before, and sit for who knows how long outside without any issues, why do they think there might be a problem moving it now?" he asked. "I think it is all precautionary. That said, if it is being illegally stored, someone needs to be accountable for that.

"I think whoever is in charge of making sure things are done properly out there needs to be doing a better job," Powell continued. "We've always been under the assumption that all the explosives and stuff were stored in the bunkers under the care of folks who knew what they were doing."






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