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Bayou Corne residents ask state lawmakers for help

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 10:08pm

People living in Bayou Corne are ready to move on with their lives. Their lives changed after an almost 9 acre sinkhole formed close to their backyards. They packed a meeting at the state capital on Tuesday. They told lawmakers it's time to care about Bayou Corne. The community needs help.

"I don't know how long this state can expect us to be out of our residence," Gary Metrejean, Bayou Corne resident, explained. "How long they going to let Texas Brine do that to us. That's the biggest thing. I want them to know how long is long enough. They need to give us some kind of clarity on what we're going do and the future of this small community."

Legislators called the meeting to get a better understanding of what's been going on for the Bayou Corne community.

Metrejean felt most of the lawmakers respected the community's stories: "Hopefully the committee will sit back and think about all the residents that spoke earlier. Really absorb what they were saying so we can move on."

Other legislators seemed distracted.

"Some of them sleeping. Actually I seen some of them giggling like they had some other agenda on their plate," Metrejean described.

Christina Cavalier was the first resident to address the committee.

"Make sure that we are known about, and what we've been going through," Cavalier stated. "Because, it's been six months, and it's too long."

Cavalier shared stories of her personal struggles since the sinkhole formed. She's a mom and it's been difficult to explain what's going on to her daughter. Cavalier struck a chord with the audience when she read a letter from her daughter to lawmakers.

"Please, please, please, fix it really soon, because we want to come back alright," Cavalier read.

Residents told lawmakers they want Texas Brine to either buy their properties or pay them for the loss in property value.

"Again, it's a lot of technical stuff they've been talking about," Metrejean said. "I think they are still missing the human part of this thing. People don't want to be home anymore. Don't want to go back there."

Evacuees just want a chance to move on with their lives.

"My whole goal is this to never happen to anyone else," Cavalier said.

Experts say the giant sinkhole isn't done swallowing up land and continues to grow. That means it still could be months before people can go home.

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