Bayou Corne residents say beauty of the bayou tainted since sinkhole formed
POSTED: Friday, July 19, 2013 - 7:30pm
UPDATED: Saturday, July 20, 2013 - 5:25pm
BAYOU CORNE, LA (NBC33) — People living in Bayou Corne say they are fed up with work crews in their neighborhoods since the sinkhole formed near their homes. They say it's hard to feel at home with the noise and construction eyesores. They say the work has messed up the beauty of the bayou.
"It looks more like an industrial area then a residential neighborhood. It's not fit to live here anymore," Candy Blanchard, who lives in Bayou Corne, described.
On Friday, July 19, Texas Brine crews used a specialized truck to fix a testing site where gas bubbles came up from a leak in the grout sealing. Earlier crews used the CPT truck, a specialized truck, that helps drive poles into the ground to map where gas is in the community. When the crew is done at the site they plug the hole with grout to seal it. The crew had to replace grout on Friday. The idea is scientist can use the data collected to map the gas under the ground, and come up with a better plan to get rid of the gas.
People living on the bayou say the trucks, vent wells, testing sites and other tools used by the company are eye sores.
"I don't want to do it no more. It's ruined everything in Bayou Corne," Jennifer Gregoire, Bayou Corne resident, said.
Gregoire walked out her door Friday morning to find work crews sitting in the road.
"I see big trucks down the road. They are drilling. It's a mess down here," Gregoire said."This isn't something I want to wake up and see."
Candy Blanchard lives down the road from Gregoire. She said she feels lost, because the community no longer looks like the quiet place she chose to call home.
"This is my house. This is my home. This is my community, my neighbors' yards," She sighed.
Blanchard said she doesn't like staying home for long periods of time, because she's scared of the gas in the neighborhood. She said with crews working right next door it doesn't make her feel any safer. "
" I feel that some outside party controls what goes on in and around my home," Blanchard said. "We have lost control of our community."
People living in Bayou Corne are tired of the stress of having strangers working near their homes.
"I don't want to see it. I don't think next summer we are going to be able to come back. We won't come back," Gregoire said.
Texas Brine officials say the data they get from the CPT truck lets them to come up with a better plan to deal with the gas.
Emergency officials say it will take between three to five years to remove all the gas from under the community, which means the it will be a long time before the mandatory evacuation order gets lifted.
Bayou Corne residents are left to make tough choices about their future. They've been living under a mandatory evacuation since August 3,2012. Some residents chose to lawyer up and are suing Texas Brine.
59 property owners accepted settlement offers from Texas Brine. So far those who have accepted offers have not gotten compensated. Sonny Cranch, spokesman for Texas Brine, said, "(The company is) working on completing all of the necessary 'closing' documents and hopefully will start scheduling closings late next week. At the closing, the documents will be executed (signed) by all parties and the agreed-upon funds will be provided to the resident/property owner."
Residents without lawyers have until July 31 to decided what they want to do with settlement offers.
Right now the sinkhole sits at 24 acres in size.