Authorities continue moving explosives in Doyline

DOYLINE (AP) — Louisiana authorities said late Saturday they were making "suitable and cautious progress" in moving 1 million

pounds of improperly stored explosive powder to storage bunkers at the Camp Minden industrial site.

Work began at sunrise Saturday and concluded at sunset, said State Police spokesman Trooper Matt Harris. It will continue

Sunday, and possibly into Monday. Schools in the town are closed Monday.

Roads around Doyline were blocked off at 6 a.m. Saturday. Officials have said residents will only be allowed back in while

the powder is being moved for "certain scenarios."

"While the process is time-consuming, there

were no unexpected problems, incidents and injuries incurred today," the


State Police reported late Saturday. "Currently, LSP technicians

are not able to make a determination as to when the threat

area will be reduced to within the confines of the Camp Minden

property; hence, eliminating the necessity of Doyline's evacuation.


Many of Doyline's 800 residents evacuated

Friday. Some are staying at a Methodist camp in Minden and others at

Lake Bistineau

State Park. Others decided to stay, despite assurances from

Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton that he would "flood" the town

with officers, including some borrowed from other police agencies,

to prevent looting.

Ray Powell owner of Powell's Grocery says the evacuation will hit him in the pocket, because it's the first time his store

will be closed in over forty years.

Many residents planned to leave for the weekend, but some like Dorothy Dodd decided to stay. "I've got family members mad

at me because they think I should leave. Dodd said Friday. "But I have animals I've got to take care of, and my house, so

I'm not leaving."

Those who stayed are under a nighttime curfew.

State investigators found the explosives

while inspecting property leased by Explo Systems, where an above-ground


magazine exploded in October. The powder was stored outside in

cardboard boxes on wooden pallets. State police and Explo employees

are carrying out the move.

Authorities say the powder isn't an imminent

threat, but should be stored in a bunker approved by the Bureau of

Alcohol, Tobacco,

Firearms and Explosives. They said the pace of the transfer will

depend in part on how well the containers hold up as they

are loaded onto trucks.

Explo Systems experienced an explosion in 2006 as well. Four residents have sued the company, seeking to recoup evacuation

expenses and what they say are property value losses. The Webster Parish District Court suit seeks class-action status.

State Rep. Gene Reynolds told residents

Thursday that he may seek legislative changes to force Explo Systems to

close or relocate.