2+ years later, sinkhole evacuation eased
BAYOU CORNE - After more than two years, the mandatory evacuation order for people living near an Assumption Parish sinkhole has eased for some of the area.
The parish police jury reported Thursday that an area east of Grand Bayou along Highway 70 has been re-designated to a voluntary evacuation zone, rather than a mandatory evacuation. The community of Bayou Corne still remains under mandatory evacuation.
The evacuation was first ordered in August 2012 after a sinkhole opened in the bayou over a salt dome which experts later said had started to collapse. Gas and oil escaped to the surface of the area and Texas Brine, which leased the salt dome, worked to contain the area.
Many residents later agreed from Texas Brine to cover the steep decline in the value of their homes and property. Others joined a class-action lawsuit against the company, which was later settled for $48.1 million. Several other lawsuits over the sinkhole are still to be decided.