NAPOLEONVILLE, LA (WAFB) - Work at the site of a giant sink hole in southeast Louisiana has once again come to a halt. This time the stoppage was caused by tremors in the area. This is not good news for residents near the sink hole.
It could be months before Bayou Corne residents who were evacuated last month are allowed to return home.
The mini earthquakes that came ahead of the sink hole in Assumption Parish are back.
Brant Smart is packing up his Jeep for an outdoor cookout at his camp in Mississippi, only he is not making a weekend trip to the woods. The Smarts have been living there since August 3.
"Basically a guy drove by in a truck and told us we had to evacuate," Smart said.
Around 150 homes in the Bayou Corne neighborhood were evacuated after a giant sinkhole opened up on the nearby Texas-Brine property. The Smarts have been camping out since.
"Now we're staying in my fifth wheel for the camp, us, our 15 year old and 2 dogs," Smart said.
Meanwhile, back at the sinkhole site, scientists have made another discovery that could keep residents out of their homes for an undetermined amount of time.
"They got down to 90 feet and experienced gas in the water aquifer and were unable to set water well due to the pressure. We put cement, plug, and got off the site and regrouped to come up with another strategy to set a vent well," John Boudreaux explained.
Boudreaux, director for the Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness, said workers must replace the rig they have been working from with one that will allow them to vent the gas from the well.
They still do not know where the gas is coming from. Boudreaux said residents will not be allowed to return home until the gas is under control.
If history repeats itself, that could mean sometime next year.
"Back in 2003/2004, a similar process was done here on the Napoleonville Dome and it did take several months," Boudreaux recalled.
The Smarts plan to build a new home in Mississippi. But they can't sell their home in Bayou Corne until Texas-Brine gives them the all clear.
The new well is expected to be assembled and operational by the weekend.
Bayou Corne residents in Assumption Parish will hold an emergency Town Hall meeting Thursday, September 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the St Joseph the Worker Church Hall on the emergency situation status regarding the large sinkhole and unexplained natural gas venting.
The residents have called the meeting out of an abundance of concern and caution for the lack of real-time information from the Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP), Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Texas Brine Co., the company in charge of the suspect cavern inside the Napoleonville Salt Dome.