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People evacuated by sinkhole ask lawmakers for help

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BATON ROUGE - People evacuated 200 days ago by a sinkhole in Assumption Parish asked lawmakers today to help them get buyouts for their homes.

Residents and parish officials packed a Senate committee hearing today to tell lawmakers about what the past months have been like. They said the sinkhole destroyed property values, and it's been so long there's no way people can return to their normal lives in Bayou Corne.

Authorities called for people living near the sinkhole to evacuate last August, shortly after it appeared. The surrounding bayous had been bubbling for months before then. 

Investigators believe the partial collapse of a brine cavern owned by Texas Brine LLC caused the sinkhole.

Texas Brine has been giving out compensation checks to the evacuated residents each week, but hasn't offered any buyouts. Today an executive said the company should have the area fully contained by April, and that they disputed the given cause of the sinkhole while tests and other work was still being done.

Another meeting between Assumption Parish residents and lawmakers has been scheduled for next month.



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