New bubbling site found near giant sinkhole

Published: Feb. 25, 2014 at 12:00 PM CST
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Source: Assumption Parish OEP
Source: Assumption Parish OEP

GRAND BAYOU, LA (WAFB) - Officials said a new bubbling site has been discovered near the massive sinkhole in south Louisiana.

According to the Assumption Parish Police Jury, bubbles were spotted on Grand Bayou, which runs along LA 69 in Assumption Parish.

Officials said the new bubbling site is "about a quarter-mile north of the Gator Corner."

Texas Brine officials said they are working with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources to investigate the cause of the bubbles and develop a path moving forward.

Click here to watch sinkhole videos

History of the Sinkhole

The sinkhole opened up in August 2012 and was roughly 1/24 of the size it is now. The sinkhole formed when an underground salt cavern collapsed.

In the past, seismic activity is reported, then the sinkhole burps up debris and then a slough-in happens. Burps occur when air and gas from deep in the sinkhole bubbles up. It can cause debris and an oily substance to float to the top. A slough-in is when the sinkhole swallows trees and land that is on the edge of the sinkhole.

Berms were placed around the sinkhole shortly after it opened up to keep the oily, debris filled water contained to the sinkhole area so it would not contaminate the area bayous.

It has more than a year since hundreds living near the giant sinkhole were forced from their homes.

Bubbles were spotted in Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou in June 2012. Two months later, the ground opened up and left what is now a 24-acre sinkhole. Residents were evacuated and the most affected residents began receiving weekly checks from Texas-Brine in the amount of $875 per week. Texas Brine owns the salt cavern that collapsed, causing the sinkhole.

On August 2, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell announced the state will be suing Texas Brine for environmental damages caused by the failed Texas Brine cavern.

Parish and Texas Brine officials agree the situation is far from over. 3D seismic surveys show the sinkhole itself it beginning to slow and stabilize, but the recovery is focused on another danger; natural gas gathering underneath a nearby aquifer.

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