Bomb threat causes four hour evacuation

A blasting cap was found in the parking lot of the town hall. Officials set it off, leaving a hole several inches wide in the parking lot pavement.

NAUVOO - What started as a normal day for Nauvoo town employees soon turned into a hectic, tension-filled one when a bomb threat was discovered.

An employee of town hall found a letter Monday morning, March 11, just before opening for the day.  In the letter was wording to the effect there was a bomb at town hall and in the Harbin Hotel. A call was quickly made to the Walker County Sheriff’s Department.

Town hall and the hotel were evacuated to the nearby post office parking lot. Four streets were also blocked to traffic.

Arriving on the scene  along with the Walker County Sheriff’s Department were K-9 units from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives personnel.
After a thorough search of town hall and the historic Harbin Hotel, nothing was found inside. However, a blasting cap was discovered in the parking lot of town hall.

Officials set off the blasting cap, resulting in much of the town hearing a boom. The charge was powerful enough to leave a hole in the pavement approximately three inches wide and between one and two inches deep in front of town hall.

“It wasn’t a little firecracker,” one employee said. “It was a big boom.”

The all-clear was given at 1 p.m., and employees were able to return to the building.

“(Officials) were here in less than an hour,” Mayor Dwight Byram stated. “State and federal people are involved. They all did a real good job and got everybody away from the building.”
Byram mentioned a community watch meeting is scheduled Thursday, March 14, at 6 p.m. at town hall. Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith plans to attend.

The letter was delivered via the drop box used for customers to leave water bill payments after hours. It is currently being examined in Atlanta by ATF.

See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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