Aerial image February 20, 2013 (Source: Assumption Parish OEP)
BAYOU CORNE, LA (WAFB) -
It took seven months, but Governor Bobby Jindal publicly met with residents
who are affected by the giant sinkhole in Bayou Corne. Tuesday was the first
time Governor Jindal met with the residents since the sinkhole forced more than
300 people to evacuate their homes.
"I've got my life's savings tied up here. Let's keep it," said
resident Dennis Landry.
Jindal talked with state and local officials and then took questions from
residents in a discussion closed to the media. Resident Bucky Mistretta was
satisfied with Jindal's message.
"I was just extremely glad to see him come here and finally address the
people in our community so that we all know what exactly is going on and how
involved he and his administration is," said Mistretta.
In the press conference that followed, Jindal outlined a plan calling for
more venting wells and a mandate for Texas Brine to make an offer to residents
interested in a buyout option. The governor also received some ribbing from
Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack.
"The governor is going to stay with us. He was a little late getting
here and I promise if he ever does that again we're going to make him swim that
sinkhole," said Waguespack.
"Our commitment from that state is we will hold Texas Brine
accountable. We're going to make sure they're responsible for cleaning up mess
they have caused. We are going to do everything we can to make sure that they
truly make this right," said Governor Jindal.
That is a promise the folks in Bayou Corne plan to hold him to.
"If he sticks to his word, he's going to make it right for
everybody," said resident Henry Welch.
Jindal's visit comes 10 days after California based environmentalist Erin
Brockovich visited residents at Bayou Corne with California based attorney Tom
Girardi. Girardi has offered his legal services to any resident who decides to
take further action against Texas Brine and all parties responsible for their
troubles over the past seven months. Brockovich says litigation, if things come
to that, could take months or even years to resolve. She says her role, as it
has been for nearly two decades in dozens of cases like this one, would be to
keep the community united.
On March 13, Texas-Brine, a Houston based company which owns the salt dome
that caused the sinkhole, announced they would begin assessing the homes and
offering buyouts and settlements for the 350 people evacuated.
Bubbles were spotted in Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou in June 2012. Two months
later, the ground opened up and left a nine acre sinkhole. Residents were
evacuated and have been for the past seven months. Most affected residents
began receiving weekly checks from Texas-Brine in the amount of $875 per week. The
sinkhole is now about 12 acres in size.
Tuesday, April 1 2014 7:05 AM EDT2014-04-01 11:05:22 GMT
The giant sinkhole in south Louisiana isn't getting any smaller, which is evident by more land being swallowed up recently. New video was posted to YouTube Monday by the Assumption Parish Police Jury.More >>
New video posted to YouTube shows bubbling, and then a chunk of land on the sinkhole's eastern side sinks underwater.More >>
Thursday, March 27 2014 1:13 PM EDT2014-03-27 17:13:55 GMT
Officials said the giant sinkhole in south Louisiana swallowed more trees Wednesday afternoon. The Assumption Parish Police Jury said there was a burp and slough-in around 3:25 p.m. Officials said debrisMore >>
Officials said the giant sinkhole in south Louisiana swallowed more trees Wednesday afternoon following a burp at the site.More >>
Monday, March 17 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-03-17 17:08:03 GMT
The public will have a chance to hear what's going on at the giant sinkhole site in southeast Louisiana. Texas Brine said there will be an operational update meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the command trailerMore >>
The public will have a chance to hear what's going on at the giant sinkhole site in southeast Louisiana.More >>
Wednesday, March 12 2014 3:38 PM EDT2014-03-12 19:38:37 GMT
There is new information being released about recent bubbling in a bayou near the massive sinkhole in south Louisiana. Texas Brine, the company responsible for the sinkhole, reported scientists determined theMore >>
Texas Brine, the company responsible for the sinkhole, reported scientists determined the new bubbling site is the result of swamp gas and is not related to the giant slough in nearby.More >>
Tuesday, February 25 2014 8:00 AM EST2014-02-25 13:00:21 GMT
Officials said a new bubbling site has been discovered near the massive sinkhole in south Louisiana. According to the Assumption Parish Police Jury, bubbles were spotted on Grand Bayou, which runs alongMore >>
Officials said a new bubbling site has been discovered near the massive sinkhole in south Louisiana. The bubbles were seen on Grand Bayou. More >>
The Assumption Parish, LA sinkhole continues to grow. The ground opened up on August 3, 2012 and residents were evacuated from their homes. Click here to see the photos from August 2012 until now.More >>
The Assumption Parish, LA sinkhole continues to grow. The ground opened up on August 3, 2012 and residents were evacuated from their homes. The sinkhole, or slurry, is consuming land and trees. Many images are from the Assumption Parish Police Jury. Click here to see the photos from August until now. More >>