Seven months later, Bayou Corne residents plea for help

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POSTED: Sunday, March 3, 2013 - 9:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, March 4, 2013 - 1:27pm

Bayou Corne residents are hoping a big name can help them figure out what to do next.

Sunday marked the 7 month anniversary of the formation of a massive sinkhole in Bayou Corne. Erin Brockovich and Tom Girardi will attend a community meeting on Saturday, March 9. Resident's say Brockovich, an environmental activist, could help bring national attention to the community.

"I hope she brings some national attention, someone to scrutinize what's going on here, because we are in desperate need," Kenny Simoneaux, Bayou Corne resident, explained.

Kenny Simoneaux is ready to move on with his life.

"They are dealing with something, that I don't think man kind is going to be able to control," Simoneaux said. "I want out they've destroyed my piece of paradise and I'm ready to go."

He can't.

He's been out of his home in Bayou Corne for seven months since a massive sinkhole formed on August 3, 2012.

Simoneaux says tremors tore cracks into his home's foundation. The cracks are only one of Simoneaux's problems he's dealing with since the evacuation. He said Texas Brine officials haven't payed to fix it, and won't buy him out.

"They (Texas Brine) say there is no residential damage," Simoneaux exclaimed. "I want to be compensated for the damages that were done, because of someone wanting what's beneath the foundation and selling it at a profit."

Pam Poirrier's driveway was also damaged.

"It's like you know how many times am I going to have to start over," Poirrier sighed.

She live blocks away from the sinkhole. She said the cracks are only a small part of the pain she's been put through since August.

"Wondering when you wake up in the morning if you're going to be in the sinkhole, or if you are going to be able to come home," she explained. "It's been going on for a long time. We don't really get any answers. It's all scientific bull. You go to the meetings, and you feel like you've wasted your time. You don't have time to waste."

Ernest Boudreaux, Jr., lives off Highway 70. He's concerned the community isn't safe. He's lived in the area part time since August, but is getting tired of having to fear for his safety.

"Everywhere they are driving pipe in the ground they are pulling up gas, so that aught to tell you something right there. Nothing but a gas pocket," Boudreaux described.

The Texas Brine Company moved forward with new seismic imaging test which should be completed by mid April. The test will give scientist a better idea what's going beneath the surface. Boudreaux said despite the test he doesn't see an end in sight.

"That's just a show. They are doing what they can to keep a little bit going, and I guess trying to make the people a little bit happier. But, everybody knows they can't do nothing with this," Boudreaux explained.

Simoneaux says Saturday's meeting could be a game changer.

"We're supposed to be able to get some questions answered really get honest answers," Simoneaux said.

Simoneaux hopes Brockovich can give residents some direction: "What the residents are due, What our rights are, because, apparently we don't have any."

Boudreaux hopes the environmentalist will force Governor Bobby Jindal to take action.

"What we really need is this supposed to be a our governor of Louisiana,' he should be here. If it were Edwin Edwards that governor would have been here," Boudreaux said.

I've got confidence in my neighbors though we will pull together," Simoneaux said. "Hopefully to our benefit. If we could persuade someone to intervene for us on our behalf."

The meeting last from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be at the American Legion Hall at 3336 Highway 70, in Pierre Part. the event is open to the public.

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