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Experts Called in to Tackle Bayou Sinkhole Devastation

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Bayou Corne Sinkhole, 04.02.13 showing berm construction by On Wings of Care, used with permission

This update is the 14th article in this Opednews series about the Bayou Corne sinkhole.

BACKGROUND: In Spring of 2012, Louisiana's Corne and Grand Bayou residents noticed strange bubbling in the bayou for many weeks, and they reported smelling burnt diesel fuel and sulfur. Suddenly a sinkhole the size of three football fields appeared on Aug. 3, swallowing scores of 100-foot tall cypress trees. The sinkhole resulted from the failure of Texas Brine Company's abandoned underground brine cavern. The Department of Natural Resources issued a Declaration of Emergency on Aug. 6, and 150 families were evacuated. 

For maps, diagrams and additional information, please see the thirteen previous installments in this series, listed at the end of this article.

NAPOLEONVILLE, LA:  The 8-month old, continually growing sinkhole in Bayou Corne, Louisiana, is an unprecedented ecological event.

The sinkhole is currently 975' x 840,' according to a map released by the Assumption Parish office of Homeland Security & Emergency Prepardness on April 3, 2013. This is large enough to hold the HMS Titanic, (at 882' long with a 92' beam.)

(Composite image for illustrative purposes, not to scale.) by Collage by Meryl Ann Butler

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When the sinkhole first appeared in on August 3, the diameter was 372-feet, and it covered approximately 3 acres. Current estimates place the size at 15 - 20 acres.

The most recent figures place the depth (which fluxuates) at approximately 440 feet.

If the 555' high Washington Monument was placed in the sinkhole, only the top 1/5 would be visible.

Washington Monument by Public domain photo and diagram via wiki

Washington Monument in sinkhole by Collaged image by Meryl Ann Butler

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On March 19,  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal made his first visit to the Bayou Corne community since the crisis began in August, 2012. Shortly after, he called for the creation of a Blue Ribbon Committee to "provide science-based recommendations for public safety in the Bayou Corne area."

The Commission's purpose is to ensure the long-term safety of Bayou Corne residents through development of specific criteria to measure progress in achieving safety goals. A list of the 13 members, and additional info, is here.

The Dept. of Natural Resources noted that Assumption Parish Police Jury President, Marty Triche, said, "We appreciate Governor Jindal's support in directing that this Commission be formed with some of the best minds available throughout the world, so they can give us real answers for our people on when those who want to return home can do so safely."

The Blue Ribbon Commission Initial Technical Briefing was offered on April 5, at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. The support materials are well-organized, comprehensive, and clear. The pdf of the presentation can be downloaded at click here

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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but it does seem plausible that the only way to de... by Mark Sashine on Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 3:08:38 PM
be the most sensible idea I've heard yet!!!... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 3:11:32 PM