Erin Brockovich visits sinkhole site

ASSUMPTION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Relief is a word frequently heard around the Assumption Parish sinkhole, but as Bayou Corne residents will tell you, it's not a word they use to describe their attitudes. But now the now 8-and-a half acre sinkhole has caught the attention of California based environmentalist Erin Brockovich.

On Saturday, hundreds of Bayou Corne residents packed into a community meeting to hear what Brockovich and California based attorney Tom Girardi plan to do to help them out.

"Kind of curious to see what was going to be said. And everything they saying right now today, I've been saying since this started," said Ernest Boudreaux, a Bayou Corne resident.

Since last August, 350 people in the Bayou Corne community have been displaced from their homes---- ordered out under an evacuation order.

"It's not as easy as people say. Just because they giving you $875 to jump up and run and go live another life and forget about that," said Boudreaux. "That's what we worked for what we've got over there."

A group of those residents contacted Girardi and Brockovich to get help and answers.

"They want to know the truth. They care about their families. They don't want to be placed in danger. They wait around in hopes that their community can work with the company, and that company will do something right by them," said Brockovich.

Girardi has offered his legal services to any resident who decides to take further action against Texas Brine and all parties responsible for their troubles over the past seven months. Brockovich says litigation, if things come to that, could take months or even years to resolve. She says her role, as it has been for nearly two decades in dozens of cases like this one, would be to keep the community united.

"We as states all over America, need to be paying more attention to what the corporations are doing...old records, what we need to do to come in and see that disaster before it happens...and not wait until after it happens and then go and argue on the legislative floor for the, what, next two or three years," said Brockovich.

Ernest Boudreaux, did not say what his plans are. But he hopes Texas Brine will act before he decides.

"What needs to happen...they need to buy that out. Then after that, if they want to sink it and make it Lake Verret go ahead," said Boudreaux. "Everybody's gone out of there...nobody to worry about. That's what they should've done."

Brockovich said before Saturday's meeting, they were representing 50 residents in the Bayou Corne area. After the meeting dozens more stayed behind to decide if they would join the lawsuit.

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