Drilling increases on relief well near sinkhole, new bubble site found in bayou

POSTED: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 9:00pm

UPDATED: Thursday, September 20, 2012 - 5:30pm

The Texas Brine Company is moving forward with it's plans for an observation well.

"That cap rock is roughly another 400 feet thick and by virtue of the fact that it is rock it's a slow going process," said Texas Brine Company spokesman Sonny Cranch.

The site of the well is about a thousand feet way from a gigantic sinkhole in the Bayou Corne area.

"In reality all we want to know is what has happened what caused that sinkhole and is this cavern," said Cranch, "... Is it in any way connected to that sinkhole."

Crews have drilled approximately 500 feet below the surface into the cap rock, but they are weeks away from reaching the top of brine cavern.

Next workers will continue driving increasingly smaller casing in and cement them into place. From there the crew will continue drilling into the ground and eventually reach the top of the cavern.

Once that happens workers will start testing to see what's going on in the cavern.

The area surrounding the sinkhole in Bayou Corne remains under evacuation .

"We go back and forth, because my wife gets a little bit nervous sometimes," said Bayou Corne resident Gerald Merritt.

Residents say they can't wait much longer to get answers.

"It's frustrating, because I don't exactly know what's going on," said Merritt. I don't know how long i'm going to have to do this, or what other reasons could possibly happen."

Meanwhile, New bubbles brewing in Grand Bayou have others living in the Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou area frustrated.

"As long as there's bubbles going on it makes you realize there is still something going on that we can't explain, so you always have the fear of the unknown," said Bayou Corne resident Dennis Landry.

Landry first reported seeing bubbles in the area back in May. Landry said he's ready to see if drilling will do the trick to solve the bubble problem.

"If they drill in there and they do hit gas and start venting the gas and the bayou bubbling starts to diminish and then stop then we know that would have to be the source of the gas," said Landry. "If they don't encounter gas at the vent, then we are kind of back at square one. The mystery widens and deepens."

Assumption Parish emergency officials say the bubbles are natural gas and the area is still safe for boating. They will continue to monitor each bubble site and take air quality samples daily.

People living in the evacuation area can receive new checks from the Texas Brine evacuee assistance fund on Thursday.

Members of the Worley Catastrophe Response will be at the St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church hall beginning at 9:00 am Thursday.

A public meeting for people living in that area is set for Friday evening at 6:30 also at the church in Pierre Part.

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Whats up with all that bubbling?

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