Work resumes at giant sinkhole following a crack on a berm - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Work resumes at giant sinkhole following a crack on a berm

Source: Ascension Parish OEP Source: Ascension Parish OEP
BAYOU CORNE, LA (WAFB) -

Crews have been given the green light to continue work on the massive sinkhole in southeast Louisiana. There was a flyover of Bayou Corne on Thursday to obtain new pictures of the sinkhole from the air.

According to the Office of Conservation, lower levels of seismic activity at the sinkhole site have allowed work to resume. Work on the sinkhole and the containment berm had been put on hold over the last week or so because of concerns over a number of micro earthquakes.

According to the Assumption Parish Police Jury, a crack developed on the south berm, which is located south/southwest of pad three. Officials added there is also increased seismic activity happening at the site.

At last check, the sinkhole was 26 acres in size. The president of United Brine, a subsidiary of Texas Brine, has stated the surface could get to 50 acres but the good news is it is moving in a southwest pattern, which is away from homes and the community.

History of the sinkhole

The sinkhole opened up in August 2012 and was roughly 1/24 of the size it is now. The sinkhole formed when an underground salt cavern collapsed.

In the past, seismic activity is reported, then the sinkhole burps up debris and then a slough-in happens. Burps occur when air and gas from deep in the sinkhole bubbles up. It can cause debris and an oily substance to float to the top. A slough-in is when the sinkhole swallows trees and land that is on the edge of the sinkhole.

Berms were placed around the sinkhole shortly after it opened up to keep the oily, debris filled water contained to the sinkhole area so it would not contaminate the area bayous.

It has more than a year since hundreds living near the giant sinkhole were forced from their homes.

Bubbles were spotted in Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou in June 2012. Two months later, the ground opened up and left what is now a 24-acre sinkhole. Residents were evacuated and the most affected residents began receiving weekly checks from Texas-Brine in the amount of $875 per week. Texas Brine owns the salt cavern that collapsed, causing the sinkhole.

On August 2, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell announced the state will be suing Texas Brine for environmental damages caused by the failed Texas Brine cavern.

Parish and Texas Brine officials agree the situation is far from over. 3D seismic surveys show the sinkhole itself it beginning to slow and stabilize, but the recovery is focused on another danger; natural gas gathering underneath a nearby aquifer.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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