by Staff Writer
August 22, 2013 (TSR) – Local U.S. officials say that the opening in the earth in the state of Louisiana is growing and unstoppable, swallowing trees in seconds.
The Florida sinkhole near Disney resort and California may be a surprise to many, but the Assumption Parish sinkhole near Bayou Corne has been growing for over a year now and swallowing land since it appeared in August last year according to local media reports.
An official in Assumption Parish, a town in the southern part of the state, captured video of the incident, which isn’t normally caught on video.
It had been in a dormant period before it picked up activity, and is growing by the seconds.
The Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness crew had to halt all operations in the area after the increase in seismic activity that caused another “burp”.
“Burps” occur when air and gas from deep in the sinkhole bubbles up which can cause debris to float to the top. This is what, in the past, has caused more trees to be swallowed into the slurry.
Bubbles were spotted in Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou in June 2012. Two months later, the ground opened up and left what is now a 24-acre sinkhole.
The sinkhole, caused by a collapsed underground salt dome, had previously claimed nearby trees and property, swallowed another group of trees in a matter of seconds on Wednesday, pulling down the trees as water swirled.
On August 18, about 25 trees were swallowed by the sinkhole in an area measured at 50′ x 25′. The last burp and seismic activity was reported on August 8, 2013.
After a year of hundreds being evacuated from their homes, residents said they hoped the situation would be resolved and have expressed anger at the way they feel they have been treated.
On August 2, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell announced the state will be suing Texas Brine for environmental damages caused by the failed Texas Brine cavern, local media reports.
Currently, the most affected residents have receiving weekly checks from Texas-Brine in the amount of $875 per week.
The homes are not in danger, and officials are updating people who live near the sinkhole often, the Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness said.
The monitoring and alert status has been heightened to Code 3, meaning the seismic activity has elevated to a point similar to what has been seen in past monitoring prior to a sloughing on the shore or movement beneath the sinkhole.
Unfortunately for these residents, both parish and Texas Brine officials agree that this is far from over. While 3D seismic surveys conducted by Texas Brine seem to indicate that the sinkhole itself is beginning to slow and stabilize, the recovery has focused on a new danger: natural gas gathering underneath a nearby aquifer.
“Tthe sinkhole continues to be active and grow,” OEP Director John Boudreaux said.