Bayou Corne residents banking on Blue Ribbon Commission
POSTED: Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 5:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 9:45pm
ASSUMPTION,LA(NBC33) — People living in Bayou Corne got a chance to chat with members of the Blue Ribbon Commission at home Wednesday during a community meeting. They're the group that will eventually determine when it's safe for residents to come home.
“I don't think it's safe. I know it's not safe. In fact, I know it’s not safe, because if it was safe they would have lifted the evacuation order months ago,” Gary Metrejean, Bayou Corne homeowner, said.
The community is willing to give the commission a chance, but at the meeting residents felt like they were not getting any of their questions answered.
“Very frustrating. We hear the same thing over and over and over again,” Wallace Cavalier, a Bayou Corne resident, explained.
Tired and overwhelmed, residents' Blue Ribbon Commission would change the way meetings have gone for almost nine months. Still, residents left with more questions than answers.
“We are not really getting anywhere,” Cavalier said.
The Blue Ribbon Commission is a group of scientists with two missions: figure out if land in the Bayou Corne area is stable, and determine what's going on with the gas under the ground there. The group's final decision will help local officials decide when the evacuation order gets lifted.
Resident Bob Deaton got angry telling the commission to back off, "But at the end of the day I can decide when I’m going to live in my house."
Others defended the commission. Most residents agreed the commission is just trying to job, keep the community safe.
'I think they do understand what's going on so to speak. I really think it's going to help,” Cavalier said.
Metrejean explained the commission will only work if they continue to be open and honest with the public.
“But if they are not going to be honest with their findings than it's just going to be a wash like everything else,” Metrejean explained.
Metrejean said it’s getting harder for everyone to stick together. The wait is weighing heavy on residents. He said Texas Brine’s recent release of it’s interpretation seismic data coupled with the lack on answers is hurting residents.
“They [Texas Brine] are pushing us apart everyday everyday everyday,” Metrejean described.
The wait to move on is far from over. The commission members don't know how long it will take to determine when it's safe for residents to come home.
"I'm so numb to that now it's unreal. I'm getting to where I’m numb to it so I have almost no emotions anymore other than anger," Metrejean said.
Scientists said the sinkhole has swallowed more than 15 acres. The sinkhole grew 2.7 acres in the last month.
Scientist also said the cavern is close to filling. As of early April there is only 119 feet remaining till the top of the cavern.
Texas Brine has flared approximately 14 million cubic feet of gas.
The commission hopes to have their version of seismic testing results complete by mid June.