Note: This update is the 10th article in this Opednews series about the Bayou Corne sinkhole near Napoleonville, LA. For maps, diagrams and additional information, please see the nine previous articles in this series, listed at the end of this article. 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. Then 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.
Bayou Corne Flyover, March 1, 2013 by Assumption Parish Police Jury, used with permission
At 11:55 am local time on Wed. March 13, the Assumption Parish Police Jury reported that more than 90 "micro earthquakes" had occurred in the Bayou Corne sinkhole area overnight, calling it a "'spasmodic burst' which occurred at 1:34 am" on March 13. The report continued, "In addition, there were several observable long periods (VLP) events recorded on seismic monitor LA12. Dr. Horton and Dr. Pettit are working to locate the events currently."
On March 8, the Assumption Parish Police Jury announced that "The Vertical Seismic Profile Data that has been provided to us by Texas Brine shows that Oxy Geismar Cavern #1 is closer to the outer wall of the Napoleonville Salt Dome than recently anticipated. Although Oxy Geismar Cavern #1 was previously thought to have no issues, this recent development does cause concern for Assumption Parish Officials. Oxy Geismar Cavern #1 is located 900' to the northeast of Oxy Geismar Cavern #3 (which is the failed cavern) and is estimated to be 950' from Highway 70 to the outer wall of the Napoleonville Salt Dome."
Flyover comparison by Photos by Assumption Parish Police Jury, used with permission
The photos above appreared in a previous article, and compare the sinkhole in still shots from flyovers in August and January. (Note: none of these photos shows the sinkhole at exactly the same angle. Therefore some estimation was involved in showing the relative sizes of the photos. The road and position of trees at lower left, the bases of the white cylindrical structures at the top of the photos, and the position of the pad area at right were used to line up these images with each other. Note that the pad area has undergone changes in size and shape during the last few months.)
These two most recent flyover videos were filmed on March 8 (13 and 33 seconds long):
The next community meeting had already been scheduled for Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm, at the Assumption Parish Community Center in Napoleonville.
Environmental activist Erin Brockovich told a group of Bayou Corne residents on Saturday that standing up and taking legal action against the company that owns a failed salt dome cavern believed to have caused the Assumption Parish sinkhole is the only way they will find relief from the emergency. Brockovich works with Los Angeles lawyer Thomas V. Girardi who has been retained by at least 50 homeowners in the Bayou Corne community. Brockovich was played by actor Julia Roberts in the movie Erin Brockovich (2000.)
Previous articles in this series:
9. Nightmare Sinkhole Out of Control, Cave-ins Continue at Bayou Corne (Feb. 13, 2013) at click here
8. Just Released: Wildly Bubbling Gases Near Catastrophic Louisiana Sinkhole (Jan. 22, 2013) at click here
7. Gov. Jindal Ignores Sinkhole Disaster; Activists & Scientists Demand Assistance for Traumatized Residents (Jan. 20, 2013) at click here
6. Sudden Seismic Activity in Louisiana Bayou: Sinkhole Burps, Pad Cracks, Police Copter Arrives UPDATED (Jan. 19, 2013) at click here5. Bayou Sinkhole Site Update: Flammable Tap Water (Nov. 2, 2012) at click here
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