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Texas Brine offering aid for evacuated residents

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Posted: Aug 16, 2012 6:05 PM by Russell Jones, Brittany Weiss
Updated: Aug 16, 2012 6:05 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: bayou corne, bubbling, sinkhole, assistance, fund, help, money, texas brine, drill, assumption parish

BAYOU CORNE - Texas Brine LLC announced that starting tomorrow they'll provide financial assistance to people who evacuated the Bayou Corne area because of a large sinkhole.

The area grew by 50 ft. this morning, and swallowed a boat. Two men were rescued when a huge chunk of land collapsed. Texas Brine is still assembling the rig to drill a relief well. Today's emergency rescue mission leaves the company rethinking its strategy.

"It was a close call and it will make us reassess that cleanup operation," said Director of Emergency Preparedness John Boudreaux.

Residents continue to worry about the safety of their homes.

"We kind of have some bags packed, ready to go on a short notice if we have to," said resident Dennis Landry. "Clean up activity needs to be done, but life and health needs to be protected first."

People affected by the evacuation order can apply to take part starting Friday, Aug. 17, at the Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office substation in Pierre Part. Representatives with Worley Catastrophe Response will take care of the fund and provide weekly payments for people who provide picture identification that proves they live in the evacuation zone as defined by parish officials.

Checks will be worth $875, with one available per household. People whose households may require additional help can discuss that with Worley representatives.

The sinkhole appeared more than a week ago on land owned by Texas Brine, which is also near bayous that had been the site of bubbling for several weeks prior to the sinkhole forming. Texas Brine is drilling into a salt cavern near the sinkhole to try and determine what caused it to form.

State officials said the assistance was part of the requirements for Texas Brine's license to drill into the cavern.

"We are glad that almost a week after committing to making a significant contribution to assist those who have to evacuate, Texas Brine is finally going to begin offering help to the families who live near the sinkhole," said Kevin Davis, director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

A Worley employee will be on site once a week, or as needed, beginning Friday.

Texas Brine will begin drilling as scheduled this weekend.

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