The Assumption Parish sinkhole, a massive opening in the earth that is believed to be the result of a collapsed salt dome used by petrochemical services company Texas Brine, underwent a sudden growth spurt around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Parish officials were on hand to witness a process called a "slough-in," where the edge of the sinkhole collapses into the hole. Assumption Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness director John Boudreaux took this video:
Environmental activist Erin Brockovich says Assumption Parish residents whose homes are threatened by a huge sinkhole should sue the owners of a failed salt dome cavern believed to have caused the sinkhole.
The Advocate reports that Brockovich told Bayou Corne residents at a meeting in Pierre Part that legal action is their only chance of relief.
About 350 people have been evacuated since early August, when the sinkhole appeared. It has kept growing since then.
Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:35 pm
It’s been 200 days since a sinkhole forced residents of Bayou Corne to evacuate their homes.
Homeowners are fed up. Some testified at a Joint Committee meeting Tuesday at the Capitol. Some are calling for Texas Brine – the company responsible for the failed salt-mining cavern that allegedly caused the sinkhole – to buy out their properties.
The Louisiana Office of Conservation has modified orders requiring Texas Brine Co. LLC to assess the status of sediments under an 8.5-acre sinkhole in northern Assumption Parish, prompting the company to withdraw a lawsuit filed last month against the state.
Officials say tremors recorded in Assumption Parish since late May could be why a brine cavern encased within the Napoleonville salt dome failed and caused a massive sinkhole.
Texas Brine Co. spokesman Sonny Cranch said Tuesday a tool used to measure the depth of the cavern bottomed out 1,300 feet higher than anticipated. Cranch said the presence of this material indicates the cavern failed.
Despite the tropical storm force winds and rains heavy enough to force a mandatory evacuation of all residents in Assumption Parish, officials say Hurricane Isaac had no impact on a sinkhole near Bayou Corne.
But after the storm trudged past the parish, three new bubbling gas sites were discovered Tuesday in Bayou Corne, Grand Bayou and Triche Canal. Representatives from the state Department of Environmental Quality are currently testing the air and water at the three new sites and they say preliminary tests indicate no abnormal readings.
Crosstex Energy LP of Dallas will reroute its 36-inch natural gas pipeline away from a sinkhole in south Louisiana.
The company tells The Advocate that the project will cost $20 million to $25 million and take about a year.
It has had to close part of the pipeline and find other natural gas supplies for its customers since the sinkhole was discovered Aug. 3 in Assumption Parish near Bayou Corne. The company says that's costing around $250,000 to $300,000 a month.