Saturday, October 18, 2014

Weather Radar Picks Up Debris Field After Big Boom - News Report

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -The National Weather Service in Shreveport says they picked up a debris field on radar Monday afternoon at the same time many people around the ArkLaTex reported hearing a loud boom.

According to Senior Forecaster Marty Mayeaux, the radar image appears similar to the debris field that was seen as a result of the explosion at Camp Minden in October 2012. Only this time, it appeared to originate in an area south of Wallace Lake in extreme northern DeSoto Parish, east of I-49.

Mayeaux says it showed debris was indicated rising 1,000 to 1,500 feet into the air, and that it drifted eastward toward Bienville Parish.

FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

There was no precipitation in the area at the time, as the storms that moved through Monday were well into eastern Louisiana by 4:30 in the afternoon.

After the storms passed, winds were coming out of the northwest. In contrast, the debris field can be seen moving east before getting higher into the atmosphere and turning slightly northeast.

Mayeaux says the debris field was visible through at least 6 p.m. Monday night.

Debris fields picked up on radar consist of solid particles, yet there have been no reports of any explosions in the area of the debris field or in any of the surrounding parishes. There have also been no reports of any debris falling in the area, or any sightings of smoke or flashes of light.

The "boom," described by some as possibly a sonic boom, was heard just before 4:30 p.m. by many and reportedly felt by some. Numerous reports to the KSLA News 12 newsroom came in from Marshall to Greenwood, Keithville, Bossier City and beyond. Callers described walls shaking and windows rattling. While there were no reports of significant damage, some said the reverberation shifted or even knocked items off of shelves.

KSLA News 12 staffers at the station on Fairfield Ave. heard and felt the blast as well.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) says there was no seismic activity recorded in the area on Monday.

Mayeaux says he doesn't know why someone in the area of the debris field would not have reported seeing something. Based on the time frame and the fact that the radar scans every 6 minutes, he believes something had to have smoldered for 10 to 15 minutes in order for the debris to rise to the height that it did and remain on the radar for as long as it did.

And yet, Mayeaux says, "whatever happened that radar detected, it didn't elicit a response (from people in the area)."

DeSoto Parish Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle tells KSLA News 12 that oil and gas operations in the area were checked on Tuesday and no evidence of any explosions were found. Arbuckle says they may take a look around the area from the air on Wednesday if the weather cooperates.

Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton says there have been no reports of anything amiss Monday at Camp Minden, where explosives are stored in blast-resistant bunkers.
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