Community briefing announced for Bayou Corne

NAPOLEONVILLE, LA (WAFB) - Officials with Assumption Parish, the state and facility owners will be holding a public briefing Tuesday evening in Pierre Part.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church Hall on Highway 70.

Evacuation orders remain in place for about 150 homes in the Bayou Corne area near an acre of swamp where the land liquefied into a soupy muck, causing tall trees to topple. However, only about half of those homes are emptied.

A 400-foot long section of a natural gas pipeline near the "slurry" was bent, temporarily closing a 4-mile section of LA 70 over the weekend. The sinkhole knocked over dozens of cypress trees that had been there for decades.

Officials monitoring the area said it does not seem to be growing. Highway 70 has been reopened, but the mandatory evacuation is still in place.

John Boudreaux, the Assumption Parish Emergency Preparedness Director, says it was shut down to be on the safe side because it is unclear if this phenomena is finished or not at this point. The leading theory is that a nearby salt mine has collapsed.

"What we want to know as emergency management; are we done or can it actually going any further? That's a big concern for us and the best minds are meeting to try and figure out," said Boudreaux.

They are still trying to figure out if it is connected to the bayou bubbles that have been a mystery for several weeks.

"That development was certainly a game changer," said Dennis Landry, owner of Cajun Cabins. "Prior to that, we weren't quite as worried. Now, the anxiety level has certainly gone up."

"Another 1,400 feet from the sink hole there is a butane storage facility," said Sheriff Mike Waguespack. "If something were to shear that well head, it would cause a very serious situation."

Parish and state officials will brief the community Tuesday during a meeting at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Pierre Part at 6:30 p.m.

Deputies are patrolling the area to make sure none of those homes which were evacuated are broken into.

The Parish Police Jury has set up a blog to keep the public up to date on the gas bubbles in Bayou Corne.

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