Gas has been detected under at least four homes on the north side of the community, but the levels were low, said John Boudreaux, director of the Assumption Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
Officials expect the sinkhole area to stabilize once debris fills the void created by the collapsed cavern. However, the land has continued to shift and the hole has continued to grow.
A salt dome is a large, naturally occurring underground salt deposit. Companies drill on the dome’s outskirts to create caverns in which to extract brine that is used in the petrochemical refining process, or for storage of such things as hydrocarbons. Officials say a cavern was being mined too close to the edge of the Napoleon Salt Dome, which caused the “unprecedented” side wall collapse.
The state fined the company $260,000 last year for its slow response in following state directives to build a containment berm around the sinkhole and to install air monitoring devices in homes.
Dennis Landry, a 20-year property owner who developed and sold the lots in his subdivision and who owns a boat launch business that fronts Sportsman Drive, is staying put despite the sinkhole.
“It’s hard to leave a beautiful little bayou paradise unless you feel it’s absolutely necessary, and thus far, we’re just hanging on,” he said. “We go to the meetings. We get daily reports. We check the blog for any information. We have gas monitors inside of our homes. We just take it day by day.”
Louisiana Highway 70 divides this pint-sized community of trailers, wood and brick homes. The south side is newer, sports an upscale subdivision of 22 houses and has Bayou Corne flowing through the backyards.<< previous 1 2 3 4 next >>