Hundreds evacuate while agencies monitor sinkhole
ASSUMPTION PARISH - Nearly 200 people left the Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou area after a sinkhole caused officials to order a mandatory evacuation.
The massive sinkhole, the size of a football field, is located about 2,000 feet behind Shelly Hernandez's house.
"We don't know what's going to happen. I feared this all along: something sinking, something blowing up," Hernandez said.
That concern has officials on high alert. Today diesel was found in the area, which officials believe is coming from an inactive cavern on the property of Texas Brine. The Houston-based company brought in geologists and geo-mechanical experts today to begin examining the inactive mine cavern, and see if it is the cause of the sinkhole and the mysterious natural gas bubbles recently found in the two bayous.
Parish officials are monitoring the area to make sure the diesel doesn't reach a level where it could possibly ignite.
"Air monitors that monitor the community have not shown any danger levels that would affect anything, but it is definitely there," said emergency preparedness director John Boudreaux.
But what's behind all of this, is still up in the air.
"Still fear of unknown," said Hernandez, "because nobody knows anything."
Officials scheduled a community meeting Tuesday evening to brief the public about what they've found so far. The meeting is set for Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church Hall in Pierre Part, located on Highway 70.