CAMP MINDEN — The contained burn chamber that will destroy nearly 16 million pounds of demilitarized M6 artillery propellant at Camp Minden is on its way to Louisiana.
After weeks of waiting for floodwaters in three rivers to recede, Col. Pete Schneider says the unit is now on the Arkansas River making its way to the Mississippi River. It will then make its way back up to the Red River where it will be trucked from the Natchitoches Parish Port to Camp Minden.
“The chamber is supposed to be in the Mississippi River by the close of business today (Tuesday),” he said.
Schneider says the chamber departed on the barge from the Port of Catoosa in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sunday, Jan. 24 and is expected to arrive in Natchitoches Tuesday, Feb. 2. It will then depart Natchitoches on land on Monday, Feb. 8 and will be at Camp Minden by Friday, Feb. 12.
“The cause for delay is due to utility crews having to prep the roads along the route,” he said of the chamber leaving Natchitoches six days after arrival.
He says the chamber could not come to the Port of Shreveport because it’s essentially on the wrong side of the river, in addition to the hindrance of overpasses and bridges.
“The Port of Shreveport is on the left side of Shreveport,” he said. “Due to the fact that the port is on the left side of the river, they could not get it to Minden due to the route. We could not physically get it to Minden.”
The burn chamber left MJ&H Fabrication Inc. in Ponca City, Oklahoma on Dec. 14, 2015, and after days of slow travel through the streets of Oklahoma, the incinerator was loaded onto the barge Dec. 22 at the Port of Catoosa.
Officials expect it to take roughly 20 days to travel the waterways to the Natchitoches Parish Port.