Residents get break down of Bayou Corne sinkhole situation

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 10:39pm

Dozens of Bayou Corne residents gathered at St. Joseph the Worker church hall in Pierre Part for a community meeting Tuesday night.

They listened as state and parish leaders along with members of the emergency response team spent most of the night breaking down the basics of sinkhole situation in Bayou Corne.

"Still just the unknown," said evacuee Jason Hue. "They still they are not telling us how long it's going be. How many more months? What's going on?"

Residents learned they are living next to a 5.5 acre sinkhole.

"I didn't think it had gotten that big," said Bayou Corne property owner Bobby Tauriac.

Representatives with the Shaw Group revealed a working theory of what could have caused the brine cavern to fail.

They say pressure outside the cavern was too great causing the side of the cavern to collapse caving in side wall and pushing the contents of the cavern to the top.

Many residents say officials gave out facts, but left out a true timeline for when people can come home.

"Stress not knowing if we can ever come back home," said Hue. "When we going to go back home."

Assumption Parish Police Jury President Marty Triche says the parish wants to get people back in their homes as soon as possible, but they don't want to jeopardize residents safety. Triche said,"We are looking for them (scientists) to not just give us theories and hypothesis about what they think but tell us good hard evidence based upon scientific data what they expect."

Now people in the Bayou Corne community say they are wearing down from the frustration and stress.

"It's a big emotional toll I bought this thing as a retirement gift for me and my wife," said Bobby Tauriac. "A retirement place for me and my wife to pass on to our kids. Now we can't use it."

People in Bayou Corne have spent over two months dealing with evacuations, the smell of crude oil, and the uncertainty surrounding A sinkhole in yards away from their homes.

Texas Brine officials told the audience they have removed most of the crude oil from inside the failed cavern. They say so far the company has removed 2,600 barrels of crude oil from inside the cavern and close to 600 barrells so far from on top of the sinkhole.  Clean up work around the sinkhole continues. The company plans to add 7 geoprobes around the Bayou Corne community in approximately two weeks.

Before Tuesday's meeting, Parish emergency officials say the volume of the sinkhole doesn't match the amount of debris inside the failed brine cavern, and scientist don't know where the extra material came from yet.

Officials say 3d seismic survey is needed to figure out exactly what happened in the cavern, but that is not expected to happen until mid November.

Residents are worried another sinkhole or disturbance under the surface could happen while state and local officials wait for more test to come in.

"We need to move with urgency now," said Bayou Corne resident Dennis Landry, "It's time we get some answers on the whole situation."

Landry says he understands testing results take time to develop but, he says the Bayou Corne community can't wait much longer.

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