Residents who remain near Bayou Corne sinkhole say they're losing faith

Published: Feb. 27, 2014 at 10:13 PM CST
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BAYOU CORNE, LA (WAFB) - The people of Bayou Corne can't seem to catch a break. Just when they thought activity around the 27 acre sinkhole had gone quiet, bubbles started popping up closer to their homes.

People who live there say they are losing faith.

"There's probably less than 20 percent who are here," John Boudreaux, Director for the Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness, said. "Most of the residents have moved out."

There are still signs of life on Bayou Corne, but the backdrop to this small community has changed drastically. Well-landscaped yards are covered by overgrown-grass and neglected shrubs. The water along this popular sportsman's paradise sits still.

Dead tumbleweed now marks the entrance of Herman Charlet's house. He's all but given up.

"It's messed up. I mean, you don't know where to go from here," he said. "You're just in limbo."

The lives of people in Bayou Corne have been hanging in the balance since August 3, 2012 when a large sinkhole caused a mass evacuation. Those who stayed started counting the days, but one year later it appears they gave up any hope they had of returning home.

"We have maybe 6 people left on this street," Charlet said.

Footsteps now echo down a street once considered one of the busiest in Bayou Corne. The Charlets' say it is peaceful, but they it's a harsh reminder of what their lives have become.

"We were like family," he said. "Everybody watched out."

Charlet finds it hard to put what he lost into words.

Meanwhile, less than a mile from his home, bubbles have surfaced in the bayou along Hwy 69. While scientists have not yet determined whether gas is present, leaders are becoming less optimistic life as they knew it will return here.

"Evidence hasn't been shown to us to show it's getting better," Boudreaux said.

Charlet says he's hanging on to what's left for as long as he can.

"Once you get a tight-knit group of people, that's hard to replace."

Agency leaders have scheduled a meeting on March 11, 2014 to update residents on activity at the sinkhole. It will be held at the community center in Napoleonville at 6 p.m.

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