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Sinkhole continues to grow

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BAYOU CORNE - The sinkhole which formed more than a month ago in Assumption Parish is still growing.

Overnight the hole on Texas Brine's property swallowed another chunk of land, including part of a remote road. It's now about 500 feet wide.

As the sinkhole continues to grow, so do the fears of people living near it.

"It's a low blow, it's a life-changing event, it's very shocking," says Dennis Landry.

Before the sinkhole appeared, and gas started bubbling up in the bayou back in May, Landry considered his subdivision a bayou paradise. Now, he says it's anything but.

"We live in a little subdivision here that before the incident was probably one of the most desirable subdivision to live in," he said, "now we feel like a lot of people are going to think twice before moving here."

Landry and others evacuated because of the sinkhole are getting some relief, though. Earlier this month the Assumption Parish Tax Assessor sent a letter hundreds of Bayou Corne residents urging them to call and discuss their property value for this year. Residents were given the option to pay only half of their property tax for 2012.

"As a sign of good faith, to the residents in that area, they're dealing with a lot and we just thought this might help them in this particular time," said Deputy Chief Assessor Wendy Baldwin.

The assessor's office said this letter doesn't mean residents' property values have decreased, they won't know that until next year. However, residents said they don't need to wait a year to know their property isn't worth what it use to be.

"I have a beautiful home like most of my neighbors here and right now if any of us will put our homes for sale, I doubt if we can get 50 percent of the value," Landry said.


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